Samarveer Singh, a former ad-hoc assistant professor in the department of philosophy at Delhi University’s Hindu College allegedly died by suicide on Wednesday days after he was displaced in the ongoing recruitment process.
“Mr Samarvir, who was displaced from Hindu College has lost his life…institutional murder!,” read a Facebook post by Abha Dev Habib, a teacher at DU’s Miranda House.
She wrote: “Their lives were wasted, they were punished for choosing academics as their career – they were forced to work on adhoc positions for long years. And now instead of getting justice, many colleagues have been crushed by those in power, for their petty networks and profits.”
Many faculties and student groups took social media to express their anger towards the incident. Some student groups called for a protest gathering on Thursday to mourn the death of professor and protest university’s “discriminatory actions.”
“It is a fact that a sizable number of long-serving ad-hoc teachers, who otherwise fill all the criteria and have worked very hard for their institutions, have been displaced in the recent interviews. With permanent appointments being made through a so-called ‘open’ recruitment process which has seen massive displacement, there expectedly looms in many ad-hoc teachers a sense of betrayal as they have been rendered without a livelihood after having taught in colleges/departments and contributing to the University for years,” said Maya John, assistant professor at Jesus and Mary College.
John alleges that ad-hoc professors were falsely promised that they would be retained and regularized through open interviews, which, according to her, has turned out to be a hoax.
“In majority of these interviews, it has been felt that merit and past experience do not count, and that it is rather non-merit factors like nepotism, cronyism, favoritism, adherence, liaising, influencing and obeisance that are at play,” she said.
John went on to say: “It is imperative on us to step up the struggle to ensure that DU teachers are not doled out a few favours, but achieve what must be a matter of their rights. We must resolve to fight for the rights of ad-hoc faculty.”
Students Federation of India (SFI) Hindu College unit and All India Students Association (AISA) have called for a condolence and protest meet at 12 pm today inside college premises.
“The large-scale displacement of teachers in DU has only increased in the last few years, across colleges. We call the death of professor Samarvir an institutional murder by the apathy of the administration and politically biased recruitment process in Delhi University,” AISA said.
“Prof.Samarveer’s death is none other than an institutional murder.NEP is sucking the blood of students and professors alike. We deserve a better life.Rise in Rage against Institutional Murder,” Fraternity Movement DU said.
“Prof. Samarveer’s tragic demise amounts to institutional murder.NEP reforms have harmed teachers and students with academic pressure leading to suicides. Let’s rise against the attack on education and safeguard dignity of all,” read a social media post by Muslim Students’ Federation (MSF) DU unit.
Academic for Action and Development and Delhi Teachers’ Association (AADTA), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s teachers wing, has also called for a condolence meeting on Thursday.