The JNUTA condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision to suspend the JNUSU President, General Secretary, and Joint Secretary from attending all meetings of university bodies and committees until the Proctorial proceedings against them come to a close.
JNUTA was present at the AC meeting and was a witness to the shameful violations committed by the Vice-Chancellor and his team with regards to the rights of JNUSU members to express their opinion and to record their dissent. In conduct completely unprecedented in the history of JNU, JNUSU representatives were not allowed to speak even once, and the physical challenges on them by some faculty members were not once rebuked by the Chair.
One of the charges against Mr. Tabrez Hasan and Mr. Mohit Pandey is that they video recorded the AC meeting without permission and subsequently uploaded it. This is extremely rich, as the 143rd AC meeting of 9 May was video recorded by the JNU administration without seeking the permission of a single AC member. When this was protested by the JNUTA President, the Chair of the AC meeting sought the opinion of the house as to whether she would be given a copy. The House readily agreed and the Chair ruled that she would be given a copy and that since the AC proceedings are not confidential, the JNU administration could also upload the whole recording on the JNU website. After this ruling, the JNU administration has no basis to persecute the Students Union in any form. These facts can be easily ascertained from the video recording.
Student representatives are statutory members of the Academic Council and their representation on it and various other bodies is absolutely essential to the functioning of the university. The only effective way to silence dissent is to listen to what is being said and not to turn university bodies into echo chambers. The JNUTA expresses solidarity with JNUSU in its struggle to keep democracy alive in university functioning and rejects the autocratic muzzling of students’ (and teachers’) opinions, inputs, and dissent.
Ayesha Kidwai Pradeep Shinde