ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Students' Rights

There is no difficulty in agreeing with A G Noorani (‘Students’ Rights’, December 30, 2000) when he quotes student activists that “university officials are not easily accessible”. In addition, they are also unnecessarily secretive and often less than adequately competent. Apart from this, there is no point in Noorani’s article with which one can possibly agree.

Noorani seems to connect the recent proposal of the University of Mumbai to impose section 144 in the university premises to the “present climate of intolerance fostered by the Sangh parivar”. For record, Maharashtra is at present ruled by a combination of several parties all nominally committed to upholding civil liberties and secularism. The present vice-chancellor of Mumbai University is its appointee. From what has appeared in press, he is a person with impeccable secular and democratic credentials, as far removed from Sangh parivar as it is possible to imagine – a dalit, a former activist of the Yuvak Kranti Dal, a fellow traveller of one version or the other of the RPI and/or Congress. In short, he comes from the same flock that is always vociferous about secularism and civil rights when in the opposition. No doubt, Sangh parivar has many things to answer for, but if Noorani is looking for the villain responsible for the latest action of the Mumbai University, he will have to look elsewhere this time.

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