New Delhi । The DUTA led strike in Delhi University colleges marked a victory on 8th March 2019 with the successful restoration of the 200 point roster system through an ordinance issued by the Union Cabinet. DUTA and its associated faculty members have been striving to achieve this since the announcement of the 13 Roster system in March 2018.
These systems are important as they pertain to the reservation of different categories in faculty appointment. This victory of DUTA entailed a struggle for one year and has ticked off a golden box in the list of their demands. However, there is still much to do. Najma Rehmani, the Treasurer of DUTA union shared the same, “The strike has been called off, but we are looking at other modes of agitation to fight for other agendas like teacher appointments, pensions etc.”
Owing to the strike, colleges have had unusually high number of classes being cancelled affecting students. Mansi, a first year student of Lady Shri Ram College from the department of B.A Programme voiced the confusion she has faced these past days “We have not been informed by teachers about the what is happenings. Classes have been disrupted and studies have stalled. I may support my teachers but I feel, there is less conversation from their end” Ananya from the class reflected upon the same “The continuous strike is really affecting our studies. Some people come from far and the irregularity is a loss to us.”
At the same time, there are students who stand in solidarity with the strike. According to Muda Tariq, a Political Science student of Delhi University “As elections are round the corner, this is a time where parties actually listen to people. If DUTA doesn’t pressurize the government, this issue will get stalled.”
Another Delhi University student, pursuing B.A(Hons)English feels “the content in our examination will surely be effected due to class cancellation but when we see the cause of the strike, we see that it benefits the students as well. Whenever we have to bring a change, we have to pay a price. Maybe this is our price”
Teachers seem to be cognizant of these mixed sentiments as well. According to a faculty member of Delhi University “We are missing out on our teaching hours. It may not present a good picture of ours in front of our student. Many students are not informed as well.” The teachers and staff associations are therefore deliberating upon localised modes of protest in order to find a path to continue with their teaching responsibility and highlight their cause as well. This is evident from the fact that 139 DUTA members voted in favour of calling the strike off as opposed to 36 who supported its continuity at the General Body Meeting on Friday despite the many unsolved issues on the table. A Delhi University teacher who is a DUTA member sharing her intention of wearing a “black band” while teaching after 8th March, presents an example of alternate method.