EFLU: Show Cause Notice to Students over Facebook Status

Online surveillance in EFLU curbing students’ right to freedom of expression: EFLU Struggle Committee

Hyderabad (Press Statement): Two students of The English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) Hyderabad, both belonging to a minority community, were handed show cause notices, issued by the Proctor’s office and signed by Deputy Proctor Sujata Mukhri, for expressing their opinion on Facebook about remarks made by a member of the administration at a students’ general body meeting organised by the administration to select the electoral committee for the upcoming students’ union election.

In the electoral committee selection meeting organized by the administration on 9. 10. 2013, at Ground Floor, Academic Block, Room no. 1, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad at 3:00 pm, the Deputy Dean of Student Welfare Mr. Tariq Sheikh spoke against the constitution of India by passing anti-reservation comments. When SC/ST students raised their genuine concern about having no reservation in the central panel (President, Vice-President, General Secretary, Joint Secretary, Cultural Secretary, Sports Secretary) and the removal of the post of SC/ST/OBC representative in the new constitution of the Student Union, the Deputy DSW said that if they are worthy, why should SC/ST/OBC students need any reservation? He also threatened that either the election will happen under this constitution, as it is, or there will be none. He was also extremely rude while answering genuine concerns raised by SC/ST students, almost dismissing them. His anti-reservation comments and rude behavior against SC/ST students where he was addressing the students publicly in his capacity as the Deputy DSW of a central government university goes against the Indian constitution as well as the UGC guidelines.

Moreover when pointed out that removal of the post of Foreign Students’ Representative from the earlier constitution would only alienate the foreign students further away from us especially in the light of the recent clashes between Indian students and foreigners on campus, the deputy DSW said that the students are “conscious and mature enough” to ensure everybody’s participation in the electoral process even without the post of foreign students’ representative. However, by the time the meeting ended with 25 students being selected for the committee, it was seen that none of them were foreigners, nor were there any foreigners present in the meeting itself.

Responding to this, one of the students wrote a status message saying:

Zero is the number of foreign students in the elected/nominated election commission. This is how our ‘matured students conscious’ works Mr. Tarik Shaik. Hearing your ‘conscious’ jnu nostalgia, I don’t feel pity on your anti reservation remarks.”

Another student shared the same message on the EFL University page on Facebook. Today, both the students were handed out show-cause notices for allegedly defaming the said professor.

The statement issued by EFLU Struggle Committee says “we have always been in favour of freedom of expression and believe in the importance of developing a culture of debate and discussion between the student body and the administration. In absence of such a space, the students are often compelled to bring the discussions online on social networking sites. Even earlier, students have been verbally threatened with show-cause notices for putting up status messages against the administration during protests against the new rule book. Recently, after a student responded critically to the framing of 6 students in false police cases on facebook, a member of the administration called him repeatedly threatening him to remove his comments. If surveillance cameras are not enough, the Fascist administration has now begun 24*7 surveillance of the online space to silence any voice that dares to criticize their activities.

EFLU Struggle Committee demands from every believers of Indian constitution to condemn the administration’s continuous monitoring of students’ activities on social networking sites and targeting students (mostly from marginalized and minority communities) with show-cause notices for expressing their opinion and also condemn the Deputy DSW’s anti-reservation remarks and his dismissive attitude towards genuine concerns raised by SC/ST/Minority students.

Students Demand:

The show-cause notices against the 2 students be withdrawn immediately.

The Deputy DSW Tariq Sheikh apologize publicly for his anti-reservation remarks and he be removed from his administrative position.

 We also appeal you to, Extend your support by asking EFL University administration to accept the demands.

  • If you are so much worried about reservation ask minority institutions like AMU, Jamia, St.Stephen etc., to implement reservation to SCs, STs, OBCs,. Similarly in the states like J&K, there is no reservation to SCs, STs, OBCs., etc., Ask J&K govt. also to implement reservation. Reservation is only there where Hindus are in power or in majority. They are the most tolerant and secular people. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, J&K., states have wiped out entire SC, ST, OBC population. So do not spread hate here.

  • Sir you discussed a very burning topic very brilliantly but your example and comparison with British Raj is absolutely wrong. Sir this is the tendency of Indians for any wrong we start abusing Britishers to pass the buck or responsibility. This divide and rule politics is not given by Britishers but it is the creation of Indians. Our constitutions makers, politicians, justice system all are responsible for this divisive politics. Take the example; minority ism, majority-ism, SCs, STs, OBCs, forward, backward, south-north division, language chauvinism, Dravidian-non- Dravidian etc., etc., are all Indian or indigenous creations. Now every thing right from nursery admissions to higher education, employments, promotions, elections, tenders, housing schemes, hostels, budgets etc., all are on the basis of caste and communal ism. Britishers never did such dirty politics. Similarly your claim that Hindus and Muslims have been living in harmony is totally wrong. There is no harmony between Hindus and Muslims. UP alone has seen more than one hundred communal riots during the last one year alone. Similar situation is there in Bihar, Assam, Bengal, Maharashtra states. in J&K Muslims have almost wiped out all the Hindu population. Britishers never did this type of dirty politics. It is also the creation of Indian politicians. Even Constitution of India has got caste, communal and regional choices or preferences. It is a different issue that Indian declare this type of racism or apartheid as secularism, social justice and empowerment. This is also our own production. In every street and corner one can see caste and communal institutions and bodies financed and nurtured by governments in the name of social justice, secularism and empowerment. These are all indigenous creations and developments. Now same is true to Telangana fire. It was lit by so called secular politicians to enjoy the warmth of votes and power but sadly for all burning the state and people.

  • Law Student

    The notice is not legally valid. LOL…