Hyderabad: Lack of academic activity turns boon for politicos
- Many political leaders cashing in on the vulnerable situation of students rope them for electioneering offering good sums of money and facilities
- Delay in scholarships, fellowships and closure of campus hostels forces students to take part in election works
Hyderabad: Does lack of academic activity turned into a boon for the politicians to take advantage of students and rope them into electioneering? Cutting across their political affiliations, leaders of students unions stated that they could not deny it as the post-lockdown scenario has pushed them into vulnerable situation.
Speaking to The Hans India, a senior professor from the Osmania University said, "It is such a sorry state of affairs prevailing not only in case of OU, but also in several other campuses of the State universities. Several departments are conducting online classes. But, the students from the poor and underprivileged backgrounds are still unable to access the online classes due to various factors like lack of smartphones, affordability, poor signal coverage and the like."
The state office bearer of a students' union affiliated to left pointed out that there was no activity to do in the villages unless in the case of those families who have one or two acres of land. Staying in the villages had turned into a burden on the family. "We have not been receiving scholarships for the several months. Even the fellowships from the University Grants Commission (UGC) are delayed," he added.
It was against this backdrop, the students who have reached the city to find a way to survive have approached the local leaders of various political parties and urged them to rope them for election works.
"The political leaders pay huge sum, besides taking care of daily expenses like food, transport etc. And, some even provide accommodation to stay. That is how a local MLA from the city had engaged students in the just concluded Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections offering a price," an ABVP leader said.
Another curious aspect is that there are also some faculty members from different colleges who have proximity to the MLAs and other political leaders. They serve them during elections, the students said.
State president of Students Federation of India Murthy said, "We have been asking the university authorities to open the university hostels as per the Centre's guidelines as it was done in case of the University of Hyderabad. However, the university officials refuse to do so stating that they have to get an order from the State government for reopening of campus hostels."
He added that the students' unions have also made representations to Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy and the officials of the State Higher Education department. But, till date, there has been no response. "We are left with no other option but to launch state-wide agitation to press for our demand," Murthy said.