Thursday, November 19, 2009

[ZESTCaste] Caste politics on campus

Caste politics on campus
TNN 19 November 2009, 02:46am IST

BANGALORE: Jnanabharathi campus spreads wide and serene, but the
atmosphere here is still charged. Two days of anger spilled over into
Wednesday, with students continuing to boycott classes and raise their
voice for justice.

Their object of anger continued to be V-C N Prabhu Dev, and they
refused to give any memorandum to in-charge registrar Puttaraju. "We
want either the V-C or a higher education department official to meet
us. This would be the fourth memorandum we are submitting and nothing
has been done about it. This time, we want the university to act on
our demands," the students said.

They said a special officer from the higher education department was
expected to set right the problem on Wednesday, but failed to turn up.
This led to the protest, with a few even boycotting classes.

They demanded to know the reason for the delay in allowing the new
appointees to take charge. "Having academicians as registrars is
always better. And the newly-appointed registrars are good. Our
university has a bad image. Each time we stage a protest, the V-C is
in Delhi. It's too much of a coincidence," a first-year BA student

University Law College student Surya Mukundaraj said only a few
classes are running. "There's too much of caste politics here. Even
the hostels are a mess. There has been no hostel upgradation," he

Students said they will continue to stage their protest till the V-C
returns from Delhi, and felt the matter could spill into next week.
"The V-C is coming on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday are
holidays. He will only look into the matter, hopefully, on Monday."

A university official told The Times of India: "No one is preventing
the new registrars from taking charge. The in-charge registrar is
holding the post for today. When the V-C returns on Friday evening, a
further decision will be taken."


Acting registrar N Puttaraju has issued a press release on behalf of
V-C N Prabhu Dev, denying charges that he is promoting his caste.
Terming these allegations "baseless", he said: "Based on the request
of the principal secretary and higher education department, a panel of
three names belonging to OBC, SC and GM was sent to the government for
appointment of registrars."

Puttaraju said some vested interests "who are inimical to the reforms
taken up by the V-C are responsible for these allegations without any

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