The Delhi University Teachers’ Association called off its 53-day-old relay hunger strike here on Saturday, 53 days after continuously camping right outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office. They were demanding a resolution of many issues but their main agenda was a formal audience with the V-C which they did not receive even after they burnt his effigy, marched barefoot and carried out a candlelight vigil among several other forms of protest.
The decision was taken at the DUTA’ s annual general meeting but its the stand-off with the university is far from over. “We have decided to switch over to a more mass-oriented movement against the V-C and the government which seems to be backing his excesses and authoritarian regime to the hilt,” said DUTA president Amar Deo Sharma.
“During our peaceful agitation, the university had sent letters to colleges asking them to cut our wages even on gazetted holidays like Diwali and they stand exposed. We are only going to strengthen our movement. In January we will be mobilising MPs to bring up our issues in Parliament and we will be going from college to college and talking to students and teachers for their support,” said DUTA member Abha Dev Habib, adding that they had succeeded in bringing attention to their cause even if their target had not been achieved in the strike.
Meanwhile, the DUTA has laid out a five-point agenda to further their agitation that includes preparing a “comprehensive white paper” outlining the actions of the V-C and Registrar, a public seminar on the idea of a university in the first week of February, a protest march to the HRD ministry and a five-day strike towards the end of February.