Recently, Ramjas College of Delhi University came into media for controversy that broke between ABVP and leftist group. The bone of contention of this controversy was the invitation to Umar Khalid, one of the JNU students, who was an accused in a sedition case. The English Department of the college proposed to organise an event ‘Culture of Protest’ wherein he was invited as one of the main speakers. The situation went out of control when the clashes broke out between ABVP and leftist group. The worst part of the incident was that one of the professors Prashant Chakraborty of the English department was badly hurt in this incident. This incident of hurting a faculty member brought forth the issue of strained relationship between students and teachers. I do believe that violence is wrong in a civilised society like ours. Especially campus premises should not have any place for violence.
But it is important to note here that the relationship between student and teacher is quite delicate that requires to be cared by both. Overwhelming of anything could create unpleasant situations. My own experience with a professor in my Department, who happens to be the spokesperson of a political party and having leftist leaning, is not very good. I feel it is important to discuss my own experience here not only as a PhD scholar at Delhi University but also as a victim of leftist atrocity.
My father has served in Department of Social Work, Delhi University and I did my post-graduation from the same department. My post-graduation got completed after one year of his retirement from this department. During this entire one year I was humiliated by a professor, who is an ardent leftist. I found it really difficult to understand this behaviour of his. Though I asked him various times about it but I never got a straight answer. However, I did not pay much attention to his misbehaviour during this period.
Later, I joined a public sector Bank and got posted in Goa. But unfortunately, I had to quit my job because of my father’s deteriorating health and returned back to Delhi. My family condition forced me join this Department of Delhi University again and I enrolled myself in PhD so that I would be able to takecare of my ailing father as well as concentrate on my career. My joining at the Department gave this professor another chance to humiliate me and one day all limits were crossed when I was humiliated for dropping an empty glass in the dustbin used by him.
I remember the only mistake that I committed was, after having a cup of coffee, offered by this professor; I dropped the empty disposable glass in its rightful place that is a dustbin. But this dustbin was kept in his room. This irked him and he forced me to take the dustbin to each and every scholar present in his room and collect their empty glasses. He was so infuriated that he wanted it to be done by me only, as if dropping the empty glass in the dustbin is a crime. And all this happened not under ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ but his ‘Humiliation Abhiyan’.
I could not either protest or commit suicide, after this incident, because my entire family would have suffered. My only mistake in this department was that my father had served in this department during his entire life. It seems that it is a crime, to be the ward of a non-teaching staff, in the eyes of this professor. My father expired after a few months of this incident. He regretted why did he ask me to resign from the job and return back to Delhi, because of this professor’s behaviour.
Later, I discussed this matter with my research guide who told me only two things that ‘I have taken a mature step by not getting into any sort of argument with this professor’ and‘I should learn to forgive and forget’. But I feel at times, this attitude has been costing me more and remaining tolerant encourages such professor, at Delhi University, to continue with their hidden agenda of humiliation. I realised that words are powerful than a sword.
If such professors are there in Delhi University, than how one can think of respecting them. Teacher and student relationship is two sided and I feel both shall respect each other but if such professors are there then it would definitely reduce the respect for a teacher. Teachers are given the stature of God in Hinduism but professors like him demean the teachers’ status in the eyes of a student.
Though I have written about my experience but I feel that this person would hardly regret. On the contrary, I may be subjected to further humiliation and it can jeopardize my PhD as well. The sort of threatening environment created in my department actually desist student from speaking the truth. But I believe that the truth triumphs though it may take time and can cost a lot.