A professor at Delhi University’s Shri Ram College of Commerce was violently pushed out of the college auditorium by the Vice-Chancellor’s security here on Saturday when he stood up to ask a question before V-C Dinesh Singh could begin his speech on “Transformational Leadership”.
Prof. Sanjaya Kumar Bohidar, who is also a former Academic Council member, had gone to the auditorium and occupied a seat in the front row when the Principal’s speech introducing Prof. Singh was just getting over.
“After the speech, I raised my hand and stood up saying “May I please...” when the men, who were also sitting in the front row pounced on me and started pushing me out violently. I offered to go on my own but they physically escorted me out,” said a rattled Prof. Bohidar, adding that he was still in shock that such a thing could happen to him in his own college auditorium where he had spent the better part of his 30 years’ teaching career.
“Everybody knew I was a faculty member and almost all the university administration present there knew me personally as I have been an Academic Council member. Nobody could have mistaken me for posing a security threat,” he said, adding that he did not make any threatening gesture and that his tone had been polite. “I was not raising slogans, my voice was soft and polite and I was only seeking permission,” he said.
He also added that the security men accompanying Prof. Singh had earlier ordered the faculty members sitting in the front row to move from there and make place for them. “Such a huge delegation of security men did not accompany even the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi or the Human Resource Development Minister Pallam Raju on their recent visits to the college and they certainly didn’t occupy the front rows.”
The speech to be delivered by Prof. Dinesh Singh was part of an ongoing conference and Prof. Bohidar said that in the morning, at around 8-45 a.m. when he was in the middle of class, a student had come and announced that all students and teachers were “ordered” to compulsorily attend the lecture, another first for the college.
Prof. Bohidar had continued his class and that was what had made him late. He said that his question pertained to an earlier issue in which the university had declared a holiday on Holi but had asked teachers to come physically to the college and mark their attendance. He has not received any apology from the university or college, although the Principal appeared contrite and apologetic.
Meanwhile, other teachers in the university are shocked and angry. “The goondaism indulged in by the V-C’s security men is shameful. The behaviour of the other teachers and students who were too shocked and scared to react or protest is fully indicative of the sick environment that the university is suffering today,” said DUTA executive member Saikat Ghosh.
On the other hand, some of his other colleagues said that there was more to the matter than meets the eye. “This treatment of Sanjay Bohidar is not independent of the fact that he has been actively participating in the teachers movement for last four years against restructuring of Delhi University. Prof. Bohidar has earlier been a DUTA Executive member as well as an AC member,” said another DUTA Executive member Abha Dev Habib.