Point

Chief Proctor Kashmir University Naseer Iqbal
Chief Proctor Kashmir University Naseer Iqbal

Dr Naseer Iqbal

Chief Proctor, Kashmir University

There is no room for student politics in our university. We don’t want them to waste their time in politics at an immature stage of their life. Their prime concern should be to excel in academics. We have already lost 27 years in conflict; we don’t want our students to waste any further time in politics again.

Having said so, this doesn’t mean that student participation is totally banned. We know that to grow academically we have to give enough room to our students to represent themselves. This we have done. Each department has class representatives who are in constant communication with us. They keep us updated about various issues and we in turn try every endeavor to fulfill their demands.

We want the students to follow a proper channel so that we can address their issues. It doesn’t befit students to behave like uneducated and illiterate people. Even if they want to protest they should do it in a dignified manner. There is ample freedom for them to do this.

As far the students’ union is concerned, that is not possible at our campus. If you ask me when JNU, DU and other universities can have student unions why not KU, I would humbly tell you that these universities are far ahead of us in academics while we are lagging behind.

We have to wait till we are at par with such institutions academically then only we can afford a students’ union here.

Frankly speaking, I don’t have any answer as to why Kashmir University Students’ Union was first allowed here and then banned. In my opinion it shouldn’t have been allowed in the first place.

Counterpoint

Peer Mohsin Shafi

Advocate and former student leader

A university is incomplete without the active participation of students in framing various policies. University is not a school where students are immature and can’t play a role in the growth of the institution.

Fact of the matter is that in the absence of a students’ union both the students as well as the administration suffer. The KU administration has employed divide and rule policy so that the students do not unite on different issues. When students protest on an issue in the premises, there is a leadership crisis as to who will represent the students.

The authorities also find it difficult to address a leaderless mass of students. That is why sometimes student protests turns ugly in absence of strong leadership. Here the blame has to go to the authorities as they have choked their freedom of electing a leader to represent them.

The anomaly is that the university gates are open for political parties like NC, Congress, BJP, PDP to hold membership drives, but it has no space for the students to elect their representative.

I have always been in favour of student politics and it is our democratic and constitutional right to form associations whether political or apolitical.

KUSU was registered apolitical students’ union of Kashmir University. Most of the students were associated with it, but it was banned in violation of the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations which was set up by then UPA government in December 2005 in response to a directive by the Supreme Court that stipulated all institutions of higher education, both private and public, should conduct student union elections every year.

NAAC has awarded Grade A to KU and still the authorities say they are not at par with JNU, which is also Grade A. The argument not to allow students to form a union therefore sounds hollow.

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