'Remove casteist principal'
By: Vatsala Shrangi   Date:  2010-09-08   Place: Delhi

Dalit leaders, students and teachers up in arms against insult of DU lecturer

There has been a public outrage against the principal of a Delhi
University college who allegedly humiliated and insulted one of the
teachers at the institution.

MiD DAY had reported on Tuesday how Dr Vijay Sharma, principal, Ram
Lal Anand College, allegedly passed casteist remarks against Dr
Surendra Kumar, an ad-hoc lecturer in the Hindi department of the
Expressing shock at the incident, Udit Raj - Dalit leader and
president of Indian Justice Party - said he would take up the matter
with the Union HRD ministry.

"Caste system is inhuman and dangerous to the growth of the country.
The principal should be suspended to set an example for others. I
condemn the incident. I would take up the matter with the
Vice-Chancellor and the education department," he said.

Dr Sharma has already been facing an inquiry into charges of sexual
misconduct against him. The staff association has been up in arms
against the administrator, demanding his ouster. Dr Kumar had alleged
the principal targeted him for joining the protest against him.

Newly-elected Delhi University Student's Union president Jitendra
Chaudhary urged the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) to
take appropriate action against the guilty principal.

"I think it's an insult to the entire Dalit community. Students from
across the country come here to study and such incidents send a wrong
message about the institution. A man holding as prestigious a position
as that of a principal is not expected to behave in such an offensive
manner. We would request DUTA officials to take necessary action in
this matter," said Chaudhary.

The SC/ST teachers association of Delhi University has planned a
demonstration on the issue before the principal's office Wednesday.

"We have a right to live in a democracy respectfully. Caste cannot be
a ground to target us. We cannot allow it to go on," said Amar Singh,
general secretary the association.
Refusing to comment on the issue, Gurmeet Singh, proctor Delhi
University, says: "It would only be fair on my part to give a reaction
after verifying the facts from both sides."

Dr Vijay Sharma, principal, Ram Lal Anand College of Delhi University,
has been charged with verbally abusing a Dalit teacher of his
"On August 31, I was standing along with some teachers who were
protesting against the principal on some issues. I reached the spot
after taking my class and was standing with two of my colleagues when
a peon told me that the principal has asked for me," Dr Surendra
Kumar, ad-hoc lecturer, Hindi, said in a written complaint to the
staff association, a copy of which is with MiD DAY.
Rubbishing the allegations, Dr Sharma said: "This is all trade union
tactics to frame me. I just wanted to improve work ethics here, but
the staff is opposing my reformist agenda."

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