I am terribly upset. Where else can I pour my heart out but in my very own blog space? We recently went on a strike that has now been called off. As of now, I feel that the strike has served no real purpose. One of our main demands was that the services of 94 employees who have put in 24 years of service be regularized. Nine of them are in our college too and one is in my own department. He was around 20 years of age when he joined. I have come to look upon him as my younger brother and cannot distance myself from his problems. The group was drawing regular salary and other benefits till ’94 but from then they have been receiving ad hoc salary saying that they have been appointed without proper sanctioning of post. They are being made to do their regular duty for just Rs.2000/- and it suits the university to exploit them. Why didn’t they just throw them out? This strike has not resolved their problem and our leaders are busy counting and calculating the financial benefits they expect to derive due to the revised pay scale.I wish to hang my head in shame.
Just before the strike my colleagues wanted me to take charge as the secretary of the Non teaching association of my college. While I thanked them for the trust that they placed in my ability to lead them, I refused. I had my reservations and felt that I did not fulfill the criteria that are required for a person to lead from the front in the present times. My colleagues felt let down. I decided to do a little introspection and came to the conclusion that I did not fit the bill. I now wonder whether I should have accepted the post after all. There is a quotation attributed to Shiv Khera “If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem”. Do I have to plead guilty for not rising to the occasion? Since I could not find a solution am I also adding to the problem by remaining a silent spectator? Fourteen years is a long period to wait for a solution. But am I in a position to do something? These are questions that bother me. Unfortunately I have no answers. The agreement papers have come in and the case of the 94 employees has not even found a place in the demand. In protest a number of us refused to attend a meeting called by our Zonal committee. We were not interested in listening to the office bearers blowing their trumpets while so many among us are still in the same position as they were before the strike. I suggested that we refuse to join unless our so called leaders arranged for a dialogue with the Vice Chancellor on the issue. Technical problems were quoted and the idea was dropped. I don’t even know if I have the right to complain when I can do nothing to alleviate their misery. Iwonder what I can and cannot do. Here is a list .Forgive me if I sound crazy. I am terribly upset.
1.I can put forth my arguments in a convincing manner but I cannot change my conviction in accordance with the people I deal with. Talking in two different languages with the employees and administrators is impossible for me.
2.I can go on a hunger strike if need be but I cannot deal with corruption at all levels.
3.I can give a patient hearing to all around me but I cannot hold back my candid opinion in the matter.
4.I can understand the employee’s plight but I cannot ignore the employer’s compulsion under a given circumstance.
5.I can initiate a dialogue but I cannot thump the table and scream at the top of my voice.
6.I can stand up for a wronged colleague but I cannot take his side just because he/she happens to be a colleague. I need to feel convinced that the person is right.
Do any of you have any suggestions?