TODAY -

Recalling of AK Pandey by HRD Ministry
the best means to solve the MU impasse

Samarjit Kambam *



India is a peculiar democratic country. Nothing budges an inch in India regarding taking action against a defaulter of the system until and unless a scam or scandal takes place, particularly if the defaulter is a hot shot or a political figure.

The impasse taking place in Manipur University has crossed 60 days. More than 60 days without academic activity is an unimaginable loss to the tune of thousands of students, the future pillars of the state of Manipur. The MUSU, MUSA and MUTA are firm on their stand while the Vice Chancellor of MU Mr AK Panday remains adamant and stubborn as before.

It's true that the MUSU initiated their action against the VC of MU with backings coming up gradually by MUSA and MUTA since May 30 by protesting in a very democratic way. Bearing no fruit, the protest evolved into agitations at a higher intensity with the students going out in the streets facing the brutal ire of police personnel. Now various other students' organizations, civil society organizations and Meira Paibis are jumping into the fray demanding resignation of the incumbent VC.

A very wrong picture has been brought that the student bodies are violent, defies democratic norms and take the law in their own hands. But in reality, its not that the students want violence. To be very intrinsic, the students are simply demanding for a good atmosphere where academic activities can be carried out in a favourable way.

It is a known fact that the incumbent VC is the one who perturbed the academic ambience of MU due to manifold factors which arose as a result of his dastardly acts.

Here, it is worth mentioning that Mr AK Pandey has the mindset of "Lets see who has the last laugh" with his high ego building a barrier of obstinacy around him wherein he doesn't care a hoot regarding the impasse at MU and future of thousands of students of Manipur. He has the notion that no force on earth can bog him down to resign from the post of VC which is a sign of total disregard to the whole people of Manipur.

At this critical juncture, it comes as a shocker to the people of Manipur when the Sunday Guardian came up with manipulated news by favouring Mr AK Pandey. That is also total disregard to the ethics of journalism. How much loyalty bonus has the Sunday Guardian received from Mr AK Pandey?. The Sunday Guardian owes a big apology and clarification in this regard because it has given a bad image to the whole-hearted efforts of MUSU, MUSA, MUTA, other student bodies and CSOs with its dubious news report.

The HRD Ministry is not concerned about the welfare of the students of the state. It is more concerned about its own decorum. It is high time that the HRD Ministry as well as AK Pandey to shed false pride, egoism, dignity issue, prejudice etc and to focus more on how to solve the impasse prevailing at MU and save the academic career of thousands of students of Manipur.

The Fact Finding Committee comprising of Joint Secretary of UGC, the Deputy Secretary of Ministry of HRD and the Chief Justice of Meghalaya formed cannot be accounted for. Their fact finding is more like a courtesy visit. It will turn up to be more like "They came, they listened to AK Pandey, they returned and forgot".

What stuns the masses is the way the Sunday guardian came up with the news that the Fact Finding Committee had come to the results of their finding that Mr AK Pandey is not involved in any acts of corruption. On the other hand, the students and staff of MU are totally in a state of confusion as to what kind of fact finding is being carried out and in what manner as the Fact Finding Committee never entered the campus of MU.

Fact findings on charges of corruption and misappropriation of funds without looking into any auditable documents and documents pertaining to financial matters? Quite weird. The charges leveled against the incumbent VC regarding misappropriation of MU's fund may be right, may be wrong but how can the actual findings be carried out without scanning the desired official documents?

Just by looking at the scenery and landscape of Manipur and by making assumptions after visiting AK Pandey at his quarter meant for politicians and after hearing his tell-tales? The Fact Finding Committee is more like a phantom on the dark side of the moon.

The question that hangs thick in the air is "Will the government at the Centre remain quiet on the issue if an impasse of similar kind taking place in MU happens in some other universities of mainland India?". Definitely not. This shows that the north eastern region is taken just for granted as if the denizens of north eastern region are inferior citizens of India.

The step-motherly attitude towards the north eastern region still presents vividly. Another ironical thing is that the ruling government at the centre finds it hard to take decisions independently during critical times without the consent of RSS (Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh).

When the RSS sneezes, the ruling government at the centre catches a cold. It is a pity that the RSS is indirectly running the country with the ruling government as its mere puppet. So, is the Ministry of HRD waiting for orders from RSS regarding bringing of a solution of the MU's impasse?

As per the writer's opinion, a Fact Finding Committee will not come to any palpable result. Instead it will be wastage of more number of days. The VC of MU had claimed that he got monetary demand of five crore INR from an underground group which we don't know how far it is true. Recalling the incumbent VC as a way of posting-out from Manipur University citing security threat or other appropriate reasons will be the best time-saving solution to clear the impasse prevailing at MU.

It is evident that AK Pandey plays favouritism game among student bodies. His further stayal as VC of Manipur University will aggravate the situation with an impending eruption of communal flare in Manipur as the tribal students are backing him on reservation issue which is clearly out of the agenda on the ongoing agitation carried out by MUSU, MUSA, MUTA and various other student bodies and CSOs.

He sure possesses mastery and has great dexterity in creating the divide the 'divide and rule' policy among the student bodies of hills and valley. We don't want a burning Manipur due to a mere Vice Chancellor of a University.


* Samarjit Kambam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at kambamsamarjit0(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on August 06, 2018.


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