Politicians must keep off universities

HK Dua’s front-page editorial, Carry on Professor: The nation will be with you (Jan 1) is timely. The politicians must keep their hands off the higher seats of learning. The Vice-Chancellor’s action to close the university when violence erupted on the campus is appreciable. He did so when all other options were exhausted.

Mr Dua has aptly remarked: “Support must come for the brave man from all other Vice-Chancellors, all right-thinking men and women in the country, opinion leaders, the media and others for standing up to pressures, political and of the other kind.”

Yes, there are unions and associations of students in every college and university. They are constituted for the purpose of resolving the students’ grievances. But students’ involvement in them adversely affects their studies besides spoiling the academic environment of the institutions. Every university or college should have a body of parents of the students to take up the problems of students with the authorities concerned. Healthy atmosphere on the campus is a prerequisite for better student-teacher relations and academic atmosphere.

The editorial has rightly lambasted the country’s political parties for spoiling the academic atmosphere and fuelling violence on the university campus. For his actions, Dr R.P. Singh deserves to be lauded by one and all.

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)



No doubt, Dr Singh has risen in academic circles because of his hard work despite being the son of an ordinary postmaster. An honest and committed teacher can never approve of “former students who use hostels as sanctuaries, musclemen parading as students” and frequent outbreaks of violence on the university campus.

Students are provided with academic freedom in our college and universities so that they become social and cultural leaders and not mere babus, who are ready to carry out the orders of any government. Mr J. M. Lyngdoh has done a commendable job. In his report, he has granted the same freedom to students with regard to the elections on the campus. This has the constitutional sanction too. However, Dr R.P. Singh’s decision to close the university lacked the democratic content in it. He should not have cancelled the students’ union elections.

All the troublemakers and anti-social elements moving on the campus in the garb of student leaders must be weeded out from Lucknow University. The state government should not treat Dr Singh’s meaningful and relevant suggestion casually.



The present situation in UP is awfully vitiated and presents a picture of chaos, corruption, caste-based vote-catching politics with the sole object of grabbing power by hook or by crook. The principal ally in the malice is religion, caste, ignorance and illiteracy of the masses who can be easily entrapped and allured with pelf and promises.

Political tricksters carve out fortunes at the cost of silent, suffering masses, whose will is blunted with fatalism and helplessness. Misguided youth with myopic vision for quick and easy gains succumb to political trap and are misused by political masters with least regard for the youth and the country.

B.M. SINGH, Amritsar


It does not behove the leaders of the national political parties to keep silent when the most courageous Vice-Chancellor, in fact, a true scholar, is doing his best, to give a shine to the field of higher education. Guidelines for students’ union elections as suggested by the Supreme Court-appointed Lyngdoh Committee, will have to be implemented in toto. But student leaders don’t bother and are resorting to large-scale violence as they have their patrons in the ruling party.

Prof B.M. RAWLLEY, Nabha


Temper justice with compassion

GS Grewal’s article, “Avoidable conflicts: Justice system must respect human values” reminds me of the great story about Fiorello H. LaGuadia, who was New York’s Mayor in 1935. His first case involved an elderly woman arrested for stealing a loaf of bread.

Asked whether she was innocent or guilty, she said, “I needed the bread to feed my grandchildren.” The Mayor responded, “I have no option but to punish you — $10 dollars or 10 days in jail.” He then threw $10 into his hat and fined every person in the courtroom 50 cents for living in a city “where a grandmother has to steal food to feed her grandchildren.”

When all had contributed, the women paid her fine and left the courtroom with an additional $47.50. I couldn’t agree more that justice should always be tempered with compassion and wisdom.

George Washington once said that how far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong, because in your life, you will have been all of these.

SUBHASH C. CHAUDHRY, Indianapolis (US)



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