As part of NAAC visit, my university is preparing to disguise itself as the perfect bahu to a sasural! From painting the walls and cleansing any shade of politics, Pondicherry University is adamantly working hard to retrieve its grade. But what happens to be less noticed is the raw and real side of the university. I am a first-year student at the university and I have been studying her for about three months.
My department has two toilets in the ladies section, of which both the doors were partially broke for the past three months. Being in a large classroom, some days we have to have the fans low or off so the lectures can be listened to. Now all of a sudden doors seem to appear, notice boards fixed in each class, podium with mic sets and even a clock.
I live in the hostel that is historical for its stories of protests and sleepless nights. Yet for the past two months, the bathrooms on my floor doesn’t have proper lights or exhaust system. We don’t have a proper way to dispose of our sanitary napkins and the purifier in the floor doesn’t supply water anymore. There are days we find worms and flies in the food provided to us. And on days when non-veg are served there are complaints of not every hosteller getting food. Many complaints have been sent out in written and in person but every time we were welcomed with the same response of it will be fixed in future.
Though the campus accounts for WiFi all over the campus, we have no WiFi in our hostels or many areas around the campus. When asked about why the issues are not looked upon the administration lists out the lack of fund. Now the question of what happens with the fees we give be kept aside, the real point to be noted is how all of a sudden the university has a fund to whitewash the walls and road breakers, fix boards of fascism in hostels and for many other renovations.
Most of the hostels don’t have proper flush systems or buckets to clean their shits. The administration always tends to be deaf to the complaints imposed by the students.
Being political is an individual’s right, and campuses trying to shut down the voices of politics are actually destructing what is the future of Indian politics! Cleansing the walls of political pamphlets and notices is a sickening act from the side of the administration.
Yet they never forget to saffronize the campus. Openly stating that a particular religion is the best and truest is a gruesome statement of the university administration. I don’t understand why the administration wants to impose it and what they tend to gain out of it. Universities will always be secular and that can never be harmed by any singular motives or interests. The distinction of student state wise and projecting the statistics is just another silly initiative by the university.
After all these dramatic activities the vice-chancellor has appeared demanding the students to put a clear image when asked about the university. The grade of the university would help a student receive a better certificate and so keeping silent will be a better option, the vice chancellor said.
It isn’t easy to simply sit, as a student paying a semester fee of about 20000 on average we deserve better treatment and facilities. This isn’t also just about the needs but more of how trying to shut our mouths will not stop us. I want to remind you that your fascist agendas will not survive on the campuses of the young blood. We will not turn our eyes and ears but will protest with our voices loud enough to be heard. Your disguise and dramas cannot fool us and we will fight for our politics and ideologies to be respected and practiced.
Photo – Sreekanth Sivadasan
Hiba Farook is a first-year graduate student of MSW at Pondicherry University