Just a couple of weeks ago we were back from home after attending the historic royal wedding celebration of our fifth king. The semester was in full swing then. Our works progressed very well and the seeds that we have sown two months ago have all sprouted very well despite the adversity posed by the weather and changing season, which is inevitable. We still have more than two months for our semester to finish, and after that, we will be left with only four and half months to complete our entire course studies and this is a sense of great relief.
But sadly, 11/11/11 the date though it looks peculiar, and auspicious, is not really a good sign for the students studying in this university. Strikes are something that is very common in this particular place and college. At least one major strike each lasting some twenty days use to happen every semester disrupting the full flow of classes and prolonging the exams thus extending the semester. And this is the reason why we have to sacrifice our semester breaks in times to recover the lost time due to the strike.
This time the strike is being voiced by the non-teaching staffs demanding their monthly salaries, which they claim did not receive for the last eight months, and in such a case, the matter is serious and genuine. After working tirelessly every day without sparing quality time with their family and children, and if they are not paid on time, from then how would they make a living and survive?
They have their children going to school, they have parents retreating at home, and they have to look after the welfare of their relatives. They have to fuel their car and with ever escalating petrol prices, even we have to pay extra bugs to reach the same distance this days. Without a single penny being paid for the last eight months means their bank balance might have now shrunk to zero, their electricity and water might get disconnected as they might fail to pay the bills. Who knows, even the shopkeepers might have stopped giving credit for the rations they sale.
Indeed its matter of shame on the part of university authorities for causing such a disturbance in the university. Had they been vigilant enough to handle the matter much before, today University might not have come to a halt. The non-teaching staffs now gather in front of the University Headquarter and keep shouting “Zinda-bhad Zinda-Bhad,” whose echoes might be now heard by the frogs hibernating beneath the paddy fields, as the Vice Chancellor of the University has already escaped the scene and went elsewhere in name of some official works. Else, who is there to hear the voice? Worst! the duration of strike is not certain and it might go for months of their demand is not met fast. Is it not a troubled University at such a stage?
Our colleges are being locked and they warned the professors not to take classes. The other day as I passed by the college, I saw our professors standing by the college gate, with the main door locked. Our students they have nothing to do then eat and sleep, and sometimes they go to the extent of doing mischief like drinking like preposterous ass and playing gambling, not realizing they are wasting the money of their parents. Many of them have left for home taking advantage of this long yet uncertain holiday but I will have to bear with it and stay in the hostel as did always. Yes, we are free, but with such a situation around, it is very difficult to develop the habit of studying. Our mental peace gets disturbed and even if we wish to turn the pages of our textbooks, the slogans amplified from the Headquater by the disadvantaged yet arrogant groups spread the air of irritation deep into our veins only to get our heart filled with resentments. And the situation gets worsened when we are already depressed due to the unexpected blows which we face in the cycle of life.
The worst thing is that whether the strike is organized by the Professors for their pay hike, or by the non-teaching staffs for their timely pay, or by the labours for their promotion et al, their demands are multiple, may be human greed, the ultimate sufferers are the students. Our classes gets suspended, our exams get extended, our semester get delayed, the very objective of establishing the University to provide quality education for the students gets compromised and the heads seems least bothered. Is it a hellish things happening in the realm of hell?
For now let it be, and lets wait and see for how long they will keep shouting, and others keep ignoring. If there is the third eye and ear to pass the judgement, please act faster. Otherwise let fate decide the ultimate result.
Though dejected, derelict and depressed with the dusk dooming so dark leaving dreary dreams drenching down my destitute heart in dearth of dulcet tunes, let me hit my fingers harder on the key board to pour out my resentments and frustration confronted by this so-called precious life of mine. The new dawn might give me a better light.