The intention may have been right, but the implementation promises to be tough. Calcutta University (CU) vice-chancellor Suranjan Das’s proposal for a code of conduct to ban campus agitations during class hours was on Thursday greeted with an hour-long campus protest.
Around 100 members of the All India Democratic Students’ Union (AIDSO) marched through the College Street campus as loudspeakers blared from 2pm to 3.15pm, disrupting classes in 13 departments.
“We will not accept any rally ban on campuses. The authorities cannot infringe on our democratic rights,” said Chandan Santra, a leader of AIDSO, a wing of the SUCI.
VC Das had on Tuesday suggested framing guidelines to restrict rallies and indiscriminate use of microphones by staff and students to certain time slots.
The proposal, likely to be placed in the next syndicate meeting, is perhaps destined to the same fate as efforts to stop traffic-choker rallies in the city.
The AIDSO is not the only outfit opposed to Das’s proposal. Several non-teaching employees’ associations, teachers’ bodies and students’ unions are also against it.
“We understand that classes should not be disrupted... but the authorities must realise that students organise rallies only if they are in the interest of the student community,” said a Trinamul Chhatra Parishad leader.
The SFI said it was ready to abide by any directive of the university but not “if we find it is being implemented to safeguard the interest of students’ affiliated to the ruling Trinamul Congress”.
But the CPM-controlled Calcutta University Employees’ Association threatened to launch an agitation if the authorities tried to rob them of their trade union rights. “We will oppose any move to curb our democratic rights,” said Subrata Chakraborty, a leader of the association.