Trial by media was a bad enough phenomenon. Now it is the National Students Union of India which has anointed itself the custodian of peoples rights and a body to rectify wrongs..A situation not easily digestible.
Prof. Vilas Athawale of the reputed Wilson College had to face the wrath of students, have his face blackened, a 'garland' of chappals around his neck, and then paraded thus to the nearest Police station. Cause? An alleged molestation of a student almost a year back!! As if this is not reason to raise ones eyebrows at the sequence of events, the media was informed and had therefore thronged the college precincts in all its force, ready with cameras and scribes, to capture the gherao of the Biology Professor.
A sea of questions.. Why now, almost a year later? The professor was in charge of admissions and quota reservations..a possible fallout of students denied admission? Why did the NSUI resort to this almost barabaric act without a serious effort to judiciously settle the matter( the case is sub judice while the parents reportedly have agreed that there was no harassment) or in fact permitting the concerned authorities to mediate?
If the man is guilty, then law should have been allowed to take its course, especially in the circumstance when no further complaint necessitated the aggravation to this degree.
If he is innocent, then a gross violation of Human rights has occurred here. He is due to retire next year. A lifetime of deication and perseverence at bringing up generation after generation of kids and imbuing them with knowledge deserved merit and recognition. A hypotheticl dialogue would ensue thus:
"So what?!!..Guru..Respect..Deference..Haah!! We know better..Freaked out ideologies..Gimme a break...The guy is loony..Who can stop us from voicing our opinions... we know our rights.. We will punish those we think guilty.."
The fact that he is a senior professor, who has a multitude of students, parents and members of the faculty willing to back him and proclaim him innocent, is telling enough. Some even go to the extent of stating that he was a bachelor who had sacrificed his life for social welfare.
The professor was later released on bail after the college authorities and other supporters of the Professor collected at the police station to protest against the alleged ploy to malign him.
"Students unions have become like a mafia. If they can't have their way, they resort to force and coercion. They enter colleges without permission of principals and create trouble. The government must curb this dadagiri, otherwise the unions might get bolder," Dr Sirwaiya, Principal of wilson college said, adding that the college had decided to discontinue classes till action was taken against the NSUI.
As happens most often in such cases, truth lies hidden under feelings of embarassment or shame, while lies finds backers who worship at the altar of anarchy then encouraged and emboldened with multitudinous support raise hell in an effort to stymie the 'decent lawful' efforts of truth to vocalise its claim .
But truth prevails... Question is WHEN? Wont it be too late then? Are the students union not crossing all borders of ethical, moral and legitimate behaviour? What is the future of a country where misguided youth have been permitted to take law, manipulate it, probably being manipulated themselves by vested interests and playing cluelessly into the hands of those to whom human life and dignity holds little or no value when compared with the gourmand appeal of success!! Has education served the purpose it intrinsically denotes? Or is creating an uproar a fashion statement of the 'truly liberated'?