Kolkata: Recent incidents of violence on professors and principals of educational institutions in West Bengal has marred this year`s Teachers Day celebrations here.
Educationists and eminent professors in the state feel there is an urgent need to stop criminalisation of student politics, which has led to a situation where teachers are being assaulted by students.
For the last few years, incidents of brutal assault on teachers, professors and principals of schools and colleges have been reported from various parts of the state.
Recently, the principal and two teachers of a college in north Dinajpur were brutally beaten up allegedly by student activists, after a local Trinamool Congress leader`s wife was caught cheating during exam.
The allegation, however, was denied by Trinamool, which in turn accused the principal, wife of a former Left Front minister, of playing dirty politics.
The incident came close on heels of the attack on the principal of a college in North 24 Parganas, where SFI activists allegedly attacked the principal of the college with iron rods and assaulted him brutally. The allegation was denied by SFI, student`s wing of CPI(M).
Eminent educationists and even political leaders feel criminalisation of students politics need to be stopped.
"It is the criminalisation of student politics that is leading to such a situation. Earlier also there have been student politics but now that have graduated into measures where teachers and principals are being beaten and are forced to promote a student who has failed," vice chancellor of Jadavpur University Siddhartha Dutta told a news agency.
Dutta`s views were echoed by educationist Sunanda Sanyal who felt that political parties should not be allowed to interfere in the functioning of schools and colleges.
"There is an urgent need to stop criminalisation of politics. Political parties for their own interest use students. This should stop as it destroys their future," he said.
Recommendations of Lyndyog Commission regarding students elections should be immediately implemented in educational institutions, Sanyal demanded.
The importance of students` politics can be gauged from the fact that both former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and incumbent Mamata Banerjee started off as student leaders.
Governor MK Narayanan, who is also the chancellor of the state universities, had recently said "the students who beat the teacher should be beaten up," a comment which has sparked off controversy.
Educationist Pabitra Sarkar blamed the Mamata Banerjee government, saying Trinamool regime`s tendency to downplay those incidents has acted as a catalyst in encouraging the rowdy students.
"There is an identity crisis between this ruling party and government. The ruling party has to take action against the culprits irrespective of party colour," he said.
However, both Trinamool and opposition CPI(M) agreed on the fact that strict action should be taken against the students who assault teachers.
"This tendency is a kind of decadent culture which has gripped educational institutions. Those who attack teachers can`t have any political identity and action should be taken against them irrespective of political identity," Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Ray said.
"This tendency should not be treated as a political problem but as a law and order problem and strict action, irrespective of political identity, should be taken," CPI(M) central committee member Shyamal Chakraborty said.
Vice chancellor of Bengal Engineering and Science University, Ajay Ray, felt that there is an urgent need for integration of thought among students and teachers in order to respect each other`s views and thoughts.