Kerala High Court Flashes Red Card on Campus Politics

Lester Mason
Октября 13, 2017

In an interim order that may effectively put an end to political activities in campus in Kerala, a division bench of the Kerala High Court on Friday, October 12, stated that the protests and hunger strikes have no place in educational institutions in the state. "In academic institutions, politics or political activities can not be permitted", it said.

The court also asked officials concerned to ensure the smooth working of the educational institutions eliminating all such political activities. It aims to impart education. "The political parties can not hold to ransom the educational institutions or the right of the civilized students to receive education", the court said.

In August, the Ponnani MES College was closed indefinitely following clashes between students' outfits. Interestingly, this is not the first time that the high court is banning campus politics in the state. "The right of a law-abiding citizen to traverse along the footpath or on the roads can not be obstructed by any political parties whatever the cause it may have", it said. Also the institution head can expel the students participating in political strikes. "The court can not countenance such a thing", the order stated.

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The court ordered that if any student was found resorting to and staging dharna or strike or disrupting academic atmosphere of any college, the Principal or the authorities of the institution would have the right to " rusticate them", for these were no means to ventilate their grievances. "The police should also intervene to restore peace in the campus if the college authorities seek help".

The division bench observed, "political activities like dharna, hunger strikes and other practices like satyagraha have no place in a constitutional democracy, much less in academic institutions".

The court adviced the SFI leader, who appeared before it, to concentrate on his studies instead of engaging in campus politics. In 2014, the state government had informed the court that it proposed to ban political activities in colleges. The next hearing of the case is on Monday.

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