“The core objective of education is the search for truth and the means to arrive at truth.” This was stated in a press statement released yesterday by Manipur University Community after hearing sections of people who underestimate the academic reasoning of those in the highest education institute of the state. Talk about natural justice is universally accepted and the Manipur University community particularly the teaching community knows what they are doing? They simply did not join the students’ agitation for their personnel gain. The series of event that took place in the Manipur University since the MUSU launched agitation is a concrete example of how the MUTA being teachers requested the VC Prof. AP Pandey to talk with the students as the matter was/is serious which might become a stumbling block to the academic activities. The Teachers’ wrote twice to the VC for timely intervention (this newspaper have all those letter endorsed to the Vice Chancellor AP Pandey). The response to the request from the VC was an open humiliation to the teachers’ body and following that the MUTA too joined the demand for removal of the VC. Beginning of the first few days were the allegations on the administrative and financial irregularities and demand for a probe.
After almost all the deans and head of departments including Directors of some unit have tendered their resignation and after the joined agitation spread beyond the University complex. The VC Prof. Pandey appeared before press and questions throw by journalist was not given satisfactory reply.
The hard stand and dictatorial attitude of the VC Pandey has prompted angered to the University Community that the final decision which they resolved is removal of VC and conduct and enquiry against him by an independent body. The demand was genuine as the MU community said that normalcy will be resumed if an in – charge VC has been appointed when the AP Pandey has been under enquiry.
For almost two months - teachers, students and staffs of the Manipur University keep going their demand and continue the agitation. The MHRD constituted an enquiry committee after almost a month despite the fact that the MU Community had submitted memorandum time and again. The Governor of Manipur Dr. Najma Heptula, who is the Chie Reactor of the Manipur University also convey the development in the Manipur University to all concerns. It was only the state government who remain quiet until the issue became a public issue hampering the law and order issue.
Why the MHRD responded after almost one month of agitation despite knowing the fact that the issue may spark serious issue? It didn’t take much time when any such allegations emerge in case of Viswa Bharati (Central University) and shack the VC before completing his term.
The MU community had also rightly pointed out by stating that whether a stone thrower which damage shops in Paona bazaar be waited for probe by magistrate or should he be arrested first by the law enforcers. Everyone knows that the stone thrower was first arrested and later prosecuted as per the law of the land. That was what the MU community said – Remove VC Pandey for his post by any regulation and proceed and enquiry to find the truth.
One more thing, worth pondering is that, why the state government is not relaying the demand of the MU directly to the MHRD . This is about one man Vs the whole of Manipur. And why the government fails to show any of its power to give pressure to the MHRD as per the will of the people of the state.
On the other hand it is a shame that the BJP MP at Rajya Sabha reply against a Tamil Nadu MP concerns for the ongoing impasse at Manipur University during the ongoing session at Rajya Sabha. His way of answering showed that he understands nothing about the issues but he is playing puppet show to appease his masters. May be Pandey is also a master as his wife is a powerful BJP player.
Let’s hope pseudo intellects stop thinking that they are wiser than teaching community of the highest teaching institute .
William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since beginning. A avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue.