Monday October 22, 2018

MCD teachers protest over non payment of due salaries

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New Delhi: Three months have passed since MCD teachers in Delhi received their salary. Both Delhi government and MCD claimed that they do not have the money to pay the salary and this situation might continue till the new budget is declared.

The salaries due for three months were not cleared. The patience of teachers finally gave in and they started holding peaceful protests from 24th December.

Teachers protested at the CM Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on 30th December. Then the protest moved to Jantar Mantar on 2nd and 3rd January where police used water cannons to disperse them.

Radhey Shyam Sharma, a teacher at Nangloi under the North MCD said that they do not have any issue with police or anyone. He said police is doing its job. All they want is their hard earned salary.

Most of the teachers are middle-class people who are working to feed their family and fulfill other basic needs like the school fee of children, bank loans.

It is a case of the political struggle. AAP is in the government in Delhi and BJP is in power in the MCD. With next MCD election to take place in 2017, both parties are playing the politics and teachers are the victim of it.

Radhey Shyam Sharma added that they just want their salary. He appealed that teachers should not be made the scapegoat of the tussle between the political parties. Because the job of teaching affects the future of the country. If teachers will keep protesting when will they teach?

The fiasco comes at a time when the Arvind Kejriwal’s government passed the bill to increase the salaries of Delhi MLAs and said that MPs salary should also be increased. The government needs to answer this that would they have been what they are today without their teachers?

The government needs to answer this that would they have been what they are today without their teachers?

Teachers are holding the protest peacefully, the worst thing is that there has been no assurance from the government or the MCD on clearing the dues. All the government officials are getting their salaries but when it comes to a teacher, the government has run out of funds. Teachers also showed disappointment at the media for ignoring the incident completely.

Radhey Shyam Sharma further added that there are no arrears or bonuses, no DAs given in last three years to the teachers.

What is this new culture in India that a common person has to go to Jantar Mantar and protest for the most basic things every time?

Teachers deserve the respect as they make the future leaders, doctors, engineers and all kinds of professionals a country need. Alexander the great once said “I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well”.

If the teachers are treated this way then it will discourage future students to take up teaching as a profession. A person needs financial support to live his life and a teacher is no different.

Today around 1000 teachers are protesting at Rohini and government needs to take some steps to resolve this issue and provide teacher salaries.

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What Would Be The Outcome Of The Judgement On Homosexuality With BJP At The Centre?

If parties like the BJP and "cultural" organisations like the RSS realise the value and motivation of such mindsets, they will desist from their present attempts to impose a straitjacket of their pseudo-religious identity on the nation.

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Flag Of BJP, homosexuality
Ruling on gays: Is the BJP out of sync with modern realities? Flickr

More than the social impact of the Supreme Court’s judgment on homosexuality, what will be of concern to the ruling party at the Centre is its political fallout. Hence, the eloquent silence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the subject.

For the BJP and its ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), any expansion of the concept of civil liberties is fraught with danger to their restrictive worldviews since a widening of human rights carries the prospect of greater individualism.

If the rights of the homosexuals to live without legal constraints are conceded, it can only encourage the people to free themselves of other restrictions as well such as on choosing live-in partners (of whatever sex) and eating, dressing and speaking as they please.

Homosexuality, India
SC decriminalises homosexuality, victory for gay rights. Pixabay

It is noteworthy that the verdict on gays has come close on the heels of the judgment which described the right to dissent as a “safety valve” which the government can only shut off at its peril lest there is an explosion.

Moreover, the court had also upheld not long ago the right to privacy which the government described as an “elitist” concept.

For the Hindu Right, as also for other religious fundamentalists, this dalliance with civil rights — the freedom to criticise the government, the exaltation of privacy and now the decriminalisation of homosexuality — entails a push towards liberalism and modernism which are anathema to any group which wants the society to be bound by shackles of orthodoxy and obscurantism.

It is ironic that although the Hindutva brotherhood speaks of decolonising the Indian mind, the two colonial laws which have long been its favourites are the section on homosexuality in the Indian Penal Code and on sedition.

Now that one of them is gone, there is little doubt that these closet followers of Britain’s 19th century politician Lord Macaulay — even as they decry the secular groups as “Macaulay’s children” — will hold on resolutely to the law on sedition as their only safeguard against the “anti-nationals” who, they believe, stalk the land.

Homosexuality
It is ironic that although the Hindutva brotherhood speaks of decolonising the Indian mind, the two colonial laws which have long been its favourites are the section on homosexuality in the Indian Penal Code and on sedition.
Wikimedia Commons

It is also possible that the saffronites will keep a hawk’s eye on any social problems that may arise because of the assertion of gay rights. As the BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has said, with eager anticipation, if a five-judge bench can overturn an earlier judgment in favour of criminalising homosexuality, a larger bench can undo the present verdict if gay bars begin to flourish and there is a rise in the cases of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infections.

Interestingly, what these judgments underline is how the judiciary is more attuned to the changing world than the elected representatives of the hoi polloi who often argue in favour of giving greater primacy to the legislature than the judiciary since they claim to represent the people while the judges are unelected denizens of an ivory tower.

However, one possible reason why MPs and MLAs, especially of the BJP, seem to be out of sync with the present-day world is the presence in their midst of a large number of criminal elements who can hardly be regarded as the most progressive sections of society.

For instance, of the 543 elected members of the Lok Sabha, of whom 186 have a criminal record, 63 belong to the BJP, followed by eight of the Shiv Sena, four of the Trinamool Congress and three each of the Congress and the AIADMK.

Homosexuality
Gay Pride Procession. Pixabay

What the Supreme Court judgment appears to have done is to persuade parties like the Congress, which usually hedges its bets lest it should fall on the wrong side of public opinion, to come out in the verdict’s favour, presumably because it senses that this judgment, more than any other, has become a touchstone in the matter of breaking out from the stranglehold of the past.

To distance a party from it, as the BJP is doing, will amount to virtually alienating the entire youth community. Even if a majority among them do not have homosexual instincts — according to official figures, there are 2.5 million gay people in India, but this may be an underestimate since, till now, it was unsafe for them to reveal their sexual orientation — the youths nevertheless see the ruling as an assertion of living life on one’s own terms and not be held hostage by the dictates of a society steeped in conservatism and of political parties which believe that their agenda can only advanced if the country is made forcibly to conform to khap panchayat-style social and cultural norms.

Also Read: Why JDU & BJP Coalition Will Remain Instant

To these youths, being or not being aware of homosexuality is of little consequence. What matters to them is to be able to make up their own minds and not be told by elders to abide by certain rules which are regarded as outdated by the younger generation.

If parties like the BJP and “cultural” organisations like the RSS realise the value and motivation of such mindsets, they will desist from their present attempts to impose a straitjacket of their pseudo-religious identity on the nation. (IANS)