Will TISS protest take a political turn?

Mar 08, 2018, 08:57 IST | Pallavi Smart

Prakash Ambedkar meets protesters, promises support of his party Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh to their cause of ensuring 'welfare of all students'

Prakash Ambedkar
Prakash Ambedkar

The situation at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) campus took a new turn on Wednesday when politician Dr Prakash Ambedkar visited the campus and promised the protesting students that his party would support their cause. Though this move has been considered his way of showing solidarity with the students, many on the campus are worried that the matter will soon take a political turn.

Political play
While interacting with the students sitting on a dharna at the main gate of the institute, Ambedkar said his party would help them take the protest to government offices. He added, "It's the constitutional right of the reserved category students to get scholarships and other facilities. But somehow, the government has started to feel that their education is the responsibility of their families. The fight cannot remain limited to this institute, because it's a fight for the welfare of students.

"It's appreciable how TISS students are thinking about the forthcoming batches and not ending the fight here. The management should support them and demand answers from the government, which had taken the responsibility of funding the institute."

Campus worried
Meanwhile, some students and faculty members expressed their concerns over the possibility of this situation affecting the academic activities of the institute. A masters student said, "This is what we feared. Now the campus has become vulnerable to political interventions." Another student said, "Examinations will start from next week, and we have already started submitting research papers and dissertations. If this fight continues, academic activities will get affected."

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a professor from the School of Social Work, said, "There is a lot of chaos in the institute. We are already lagging behind in academic work; if this continues, admissions and assessments will get affected."

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