When the going gets tough, the biggest casualty is Hope. And it is Hope on which our ability to successfully overcome difficult challenges depends. Our Collective Hope. Over the last few years, the Government has unleashed an aggressive set of changes that threaten our security, the dignity of our profession, our opportunities and the inclusive character of our education system. If we allow things to go as per the Government’s plan, Privatisation will overtake everything, all our aspirations and idealism. But to stop the Government on its tracks, we need to build up a big movement. A movement that spreads beyond this university to others. A movement in which teachers, students and karamcharis participate with equal conviction and gusto. Such a movement cannot be built by teachers who are resigned to Fate. We need to keep our Collective Hope alive.
How do we do that? By ensuring that each and every teacher, student and karamchari continues to believe in Justice. Teachers of different political leanings participate in the DUTA. But one thing commonly sustains and justifies the participation of all. Belief in Justice. This belief is sacrosanct. And it will sustain only if our youngest colleagues are regularised through a fair, transparent and sensitive process of permanent appointments. They have seen favouritism and had to contend against bias. They have seen a bitterly divided DUTA. But they have also seen the strength of a united DUTA and know what Unity can achieve. If they can continue to hope that their jobs will not depend on political affiliation and contacts, they will support Unity. They will do everything that needs to be done to ensure Unity.
This Unity must help us to undo the injustice done to thousands of colleagues who have been denied promotion. The callous indifference of the Government and the University administration to their plight has caused demoralisation and bitterness. We must build a massive movement to reverse this injustice and restore the dignity of our colleagues.
The cruel withholding of pension to so many of our senior colleagues is another glaring example of how little the Government cares about teachers. They too depend on the DUTA to help restore their livelihood.
The Unity of teachers must be able to stand up against every unreasonable and vindictive minister, official, principal and bureaucrat. It must be able to isolate all those who work against Unity and cynically line up to get exclusive favours from the MHRD, UGC and University Administration. Only then will our fight against the hostile policies begin in right earnest. Otherwise, there is nothing to be saved.
The DUTA Elections on 31st August will give all of you the opportunity to think about the stakes, about what is worth saving and about the kind of university we want for our children.
As a presidential candidate for the DUTA, I stand for our Hope and our Unity. Not for petty politicking against our own colleagues. I stand for a University that has given me an education, a job, friends, family and a social purpose. And our DUTA must be able to sustain my hope in all these precious things. This is my conviction and commitment. Please support me in this endeavour by voting for me in the presidential ballot and the entire DTF panel in the Executive ballot. I urge each and everyone of you to defend our Collective Hope by ensuring its victory on the polling day.