| Labourers remove graffiti from walls and pillars at Patna College on Friday. Picture by Jai Prakash |
Student leaders of Patna University are full of alacrity when demanding a spic-and-span campus but lack eagerness while toeing the rules to ensure cleanliness.
According to the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations and the constitution adopted by the university authorities for conducting the students’ union polls, pupils are forbidden from defacing the university property.
But on the varsity premises, hoardings, banners, posters and graffiti are a dime a dozen. Defacing the walls, these cry out for a plethora of demands — from upgrading Patna University to central status to holding students’ union elections. Some even take digs at the vice-chancellor or senior officials.
Some student leaders are of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with graffiti.
“It is a way to protest. Students have been doing it for years. There’s nothing new about it,” said Abhudaya, a leader of All India Students’ Association.
Not all his fellow students are sympathetic to this view though. Sikha Priya, a student of Patna College, said such graffiti not only makes the campus dirty but also gives a bad impression about students to outsiders.
“Such defacement of university property can be found only at Patna College, Patna Science College and the main campus of the university. At Patna Women’s College, where the authorities are very strict, you would not find such posters and graffiti,” she added.
On Friday, Patna University authorities, too, started an initiative to clean the walls at the main campus and the colleges, following the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations.
The Lyngdoh Committee recommends: “No candidate shall, nor shall his/her supporters, deface or cause any destruction to any property of the university/college campus, for any purpose whatsoever, without the prior written permission of the college/university authorities. All candidates shall be held jointly and severally liable for any destruction/defacing of any university/college property.”
Patna College principal Rash Bihari Prasad Singh said: “On Friday, we started to remove posters and erase graffiti from the walls of the institution.”
He added that most of the graffiti that were removed on Friday were quite old and did not pertain to the elections slated on December 11. “We are cleaning the walls to ensure that no students’ body defaces them anew,” said Singh.