The Delhi University Teachers’ Association Sunday condemned the assault by a student on a law faculty teacher who had reportedly raised questions on the veracity of a WhatsApp video shown to him by the student. The video allegedly contained representations of the Pulwama terror attack.
The student’s “justification” for the assault, that questioning by the teacher has hurt his nationalist sentiment, is completely unacceptable, the teachers’ body said.
“Teachers and students must be guaranteed the freedom to express their own views and argue their own opinions, however unpopular or contrarian, within a democratic educational institution. This freedom is integral to survival of critical thinking,” DUTA said in a statement.
It said an educator’s prerogative to introduce heterogenous ideas and question or insist on empirical verification of any statement or representation is sacrosanct, as without this prerogative, learners cannot be guided towards either objective awareness or self-reflexive doubt.
“Any kind of coercion and violent imposition of majoritarian views and sentiments is inimical to the fundamental tenets of our Constitution and to the spirit of scientific inquiry, without which no educational institution can survive,” the statement read.
The teachers body demanded that the Delhi University vice-chancellor should take stock of the threatening situation and initiate prompt disciplinary action to protect the dignity of teachers and maintain the academic character of the university.
“Had the vice-chancellor taken strong deterrent action in the case of similar incidents in the recent past, misguided students may not have been emboldened to engage in such violent and objectionable behaviour,” it said.
Feb 25, 2019 02:10 IST
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