College bans students from participating in politics

Sep 13, 2013, 06:28 IST | Varun Singh

This is just one of the many rules in the undertaking that CHM College, Ulhasnagar is asking its students to sign; there's an uproar among students as they feel the rules are archaic and unreasonable

In an age where everyone is talking of active participation of the country’s youth in politics, the management at Chandimal Himmatmal Mansukhani College, Ulhasnagar (CHM College), has asked its students to sign an undertaking according to which ‘no student will be allowed to take active part in current politics’.

CHM College, Ulhasnagar
CHM College, Ulhasnagar, where students are being asked to sign an undertaking with absurd rules and regulations

The undertaking has many other rules that are a cause of concern for students and professors alike. For example, according to the document, the principal has all rights to dismiss any student from the college, whose continuance in the college is detrimental to it, in the opinion of the principal. This can be done without assigning any reason for the decision.

24 new rules
Earlier this month, an undertaking with 24 rules and regulations was distributed among students, who were asked to sign it. Many professors from the college claim that most rules, formed by the principal, are unconstitutional.

A professor, on condition of anonymity, said, “One rule claims that any student who is caught using any unfair means in examinations shall not be readmitted to the college. This is anarchy! Even courts give convicts an opportunity to improve and change. Here, instead of giving students a second chance, we have decided not to readmit them and thus, take away all the chances of any reformation.”

Another professor added, “The management wants students to declare that they won’t participate in current active politics. Voting also means participating in politics. Does this mean they can’t even vote? Where are we headed? We will raise the matter with the principal and the management in our next meeting.”

What rules?
MiD DAY has obtained a copy of the undertaking, according to which, the rules are ‘by the order of the principal’. But, Dr Bhawana Motwani, the principal of the college, claimed ignorance about it. “I am aware that some undertaking has been circulated, but I don’t know who the people are behind framing these rules. If anyone is hurt and if any rule is not as per the University and UGC guidelines, we will remove them.”

Motwani claimed that she had no problem with people participating in active politics, but it should be done outside the campus. However, Motwani denied that she would take any action against those who made these rules, though they were made without her knowledge, as claimed by her. “We won’t punish anyone. But, we will improve the rules and restructure the ones that have hurt the sentiments of others,” she clarified.

A former general secretary of the Students’ Council of the college said, “With such rules, the college is taking a step in the backward direction. How can you say politics is bad and students should stay away from it? The management should immediately rescind such rules and punish those who made them.”

CHM College comes under the Hyderabad Sindh National Collegiate Board (HSNC Board), a body headed by Niranjan Hiranandani. There are several top-notch city colleges under the same body, namely KC College, RD College, Jai Hind College and HR College.

J K Bhambani, the secretary of HSNC board said, “We are aware of the issue. We will call the principal and ask her to send us a copy of the circular. We will see to it that it is in accordance with the rules and no one is treated unfairly. We assure students and professors that the college will follow the rules set by the university.” Meanwhile, a few students have signed the undertaking. Others too are willing to do so, as they don’t want to go against the management.

Number of students studying at CHM College, which makes it the largest college in the suburbs and the second largest in Mumbai University, in terms of students

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