Kolkata: JUTA Observes “Save Jadavpur University Day”, Sit-in Demonstration 23-24 Dec.

December 23, 2014


On 24th December 2014, the 59th Convocation of Jadavpur University will be held. Under normal circumstances, this is a moment of joy and pride for our much beloved institution. It is a day of celebration for our students, faculty, scholars and staff and the entire community who work hard and tirelessly for weeks to ensure a day to remember with pride. We also recall the history of the evolution of Jadavpur University out of a vision and a dream which brought together freedom fighters, intellectuals, individuals who created a new model of an educational institution as they established the National Council of Education in opposition to the might of the British Empire. This year, tragically, the Convocation has been mired in controversy.

On the night of 16th September 2014, Professor Abhijit Chakrabarti, then interim Vice Chancellor, called in the police to ‘protect’ him and ‘rescue’ him from a group of peaceful student agitators who were protesting the handling of an allegation of sexual molestation, which is till date unaddressed. The brutality of the police action on our students is still the stuff of nightmares for all of us. Far from any show of regret, the same Prof Chakrabarti publicly slandered the students and faculty members of Jadavpur University. Instead of trying to address the deep anger and hurt of the University community, Prof Chakarbarti aggravated the volatile situation by making false statements in Calcutta High Court, appointing private security staff whose only task seemed to be to harass people, issuing advertisements to appoint under-qualified teaching faculty through walk-in interviews and generally acting in a manner which only served to isolate him from the community of the University. Now we hear that he sits behind an electronically locked door to which he alone knows the password. Alone. Scared. Invisible.

The actions of Prof Chakrabarti have shamed our University in the wider community too. We have all seen how one after the other, dignitaries have refused to accept the highest honours of our University. By doing so, they have also joined the general condemnation of Prof Chakrabarti’s continuance as Vice Chancellor, Jadavpur University. Additionally, there is clear evidence of Prof Chakrabarti’s shameless plagiarism of research papers—the worst sin that any academician can commit.

It is clear that Prof Chakrabarti has no authority—moral, academic or otherwise—to remain the Vice Chancellor of Jadavpur University.

We are dismayed to see that the Hon’ble Chancellor has apparently stated that students who will not attend the Convocation will have the words “Boycotted Convocation” stamped on their Certificates. It is unfortunate that the Hon’ble Chancellor should make such a comment.

Therefore, we—the Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association—will observe 24th December 2014 as “Save Jadavpur University Day”. We invite everyone—students, scholars, former students, guardians, members of the academic community—to join us in the 24 hour sit-in on Jadavpur University campus from 23rd December 5 pm to 24th December 5 pm. 20 teachers will also observe a hunger strike during this time. All of us who care about the University must come together to protect the dream.


Nilanjana Gupta, General Secretary, Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association 19.12.14