TISS Alumni Stand In Support of Striking Students





tiss students strike

We, the alumni of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, offer our support to the call made by the TISS Students Union for a strike on 21st February 2018 against the decisions taken by the institute to deny the fee exemption given to SC, ST and OBC students (including religious minorities) who are eligible to the Government of India Post-Matric Scholarship (GoI-PMS) . The fee exemption to students was an institute policy to facilitate access to higher education to students from marginalised communities. But over the years, fees of TISS increased many folds (currently, average fees is around Rs. 70-80,000 per semester) while the policy of affirmative access was curtailed bit by bit. We condemn the move by the administration and management of TISS. The situation has worsened with Government's policy of increasing privatisation of education and inadequate allocation of funds to provide for access to higher education by students from marginalised communities. Government has been decreasing allocation for GoI PMS schemes and, in particular, withholding significant funds to TISS from the University Grants Commission and Ministry of Human Resource Development.


Students' Strike in TISS Mumbai


21st February 2018.

TISS, Mumbai, observes 100% university strike against privatisation of higher education and withdrawal of financial aid to SC-ST-OBC(NC) students

tiss 3

TISS students union gave a call for university strike on 21st February 2018 against the recent notification of TISS admin to withdraw financial aid to GOI-PMS students from SC/ST category across all its campuses. Financial aid had already been withdrawn for OBC students in 2015. Along with this TISS has been constantly hiking fees given which many students have been forced to drop out or never applying here. Students held a resistance march in campus last night .

Today since 7am students were out in the campus to make the strike a success. After getting a successful shut down of all classes in campus today afternoon around 500 students gathered at the TISS main gate and blocked the gate. After 3 hours of demanding the admin to meet students at gate the admin finally gave in and met the students. Students in Hyderabad, Guwahati, Tuljapur also held protests in their campuses. The admin refused to give in to demands of students on the spot and asked for 24 hours to respond to our demands.


Delete the Dalit?




On December 6, 2016, I stood at the heart of Shivaji Park in Dadar. Walking in the narrow passages between a couple of hundred stalls selling literature and memorabilia, the banner hanging in front of one, unsettled me. 'Delete the Dalit', it cried out, at the thousands that streamed past it. Over the course of that year, a few friends and I had interviewed founders of the Dalit Panther with the intention of making a series of short films set around the organisation. We decided to go to Mahaparinirvan Diwas to talk to people about the Dalit Panther Project. People had varied responses to the Project. Some expressed satisfaction at our efforts, others lamented the failures of Ambedkarite leaders.

dalit panthers picture

One interaction that made an impression on me, was with a middle-aged man, dressed in formal attire as if he had dropped in on his way to a corporate office. "Why Dalit Panther Project?" he enquired. Unsure what his grievance was with the term Dalit, we informed him that ours was merely a documentation project, and we found no reason to change the name of the Dalit Panther forty odd years after it had been established. Unperturbed, our new friend proceeded to inform us that the term Dalit had been declared 'unconstitutional', allegedly by the Supreme Court. He also felt we discovered, that the term Dalit had a negative connotation, suggesting a sense of inferiority, and should, therefore, be discarded immediately. To his mind, the ideal alternative was Bahujan.


2017-Year of the Snuff Movie


Umar Nizar

umarSnuff films: murder on camera for commercial gain. The world's first conference devoted to the mythology of snuff took place at the University of Bournemouth on a weekend in November 2012, a clear indication of how attitudes have changed in the last two decades: the organizers and a number of the delegates had arrived in academia on the back of fan interests.

 -Kerekes, David. 'A Culture of Change'

Attitudes change. 2017 was a particularly bad year for Bollywood, by the admission of some of its own leading lights. When the first day collection of a movie came to just around five lakh rupees, the alleged reaction of filmmaker Karan Johar was, 'how is that even possible?' as he himself told the audience at Goa's International Film Festival of India in November, 2017.

2017, a lackluster year for Bollywood also saw the rise of regressive quasi-puranic movies like 'Rudramadevi' and 'Bahubali 2 - the Conclusion'. The mainstream Telugu film industry vies to be the most patriarchal in India (which is saying something), where an accomplished actress like Padmapriya can be slapped by a male filmmaker, and with impunity.


Appeal for Funds: Aided Sector Reservation Agitation Council, Kerala


Fund Appeal from AIDED MEKHALA SAMVARANA PRAKSHOBHA SAMITHI (Aided Sector Reservation Agitation Council) Convenor O.P Raveendran

The Aided Mekhala Samvarana Prakshobha Samithi in Kerala has been spearheading various agitations against the one and half century old practice of paying the aided college teachers from the government treasury and to ensure reservation therein for equal opportunity and social justice. The legal battle for implementing reservation as per UGC norms is on for the last 7 years. Though we got a favourable judgement in the year 2015, on the appeal made by SN Trust and NSS we had a setback in the form of a uncostitutional judgement by the division bench of High Court in Dec 22nd, 2017.

As the government has now proclaimed that it would go to the Supreme Court for implementing social justice, it has become imperative for us to approach the Supreme Court for putting foward arguments in favour of the case. For that we need to urgently get 15 lakh rupees. In this context, we request all believers of democracy to donate generously for the cause of ensuring social justice. The total number of staff employed by the Kerala government is 5,11,486. In 2015-16, 200000 (two lakhs) of them, ie. 39 % are in the aided sector. The total number of SC/ST staff is only 584.


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