There has always been much uproar about the politicization of student unions in Bengal, but for the last two to three years a new kind of problem has emerged. The problem is of student unions taking money in order to subvert the admission process into various colleges. This evolution from asserting student rights to allegedly being a cash-hungry organized syndicate has happened quite quickly and efficiently.
So much so, that now we have rate charts of different streams for different colleges. The vernacular media in Bengal has pointed out how systematically the merit oriented procedure has been subverted for cash-induced one. The Trinamool Chatra Parishad (T.M.C.P), the student outfit of the ruling party Trinamool Congress is accused of facilitating this transition of educational institutions into hubs of ill-gotten money machines.
The youth political outfit Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha associated with BJP took to the street on Friday in protest against the politicization of colleges and extortion of money by the T.M.C.P. They also raised the issue of Amlan Sarkar, a student from Boral who according to reports allegedly committed suicide after failing to secure an admission in any college.
The 18-year-old boy scored 79% in his higher secondary examination failed to get an admission in Andrews College and K. K. Das College even after his name appeared on the merit list.
The BJYM staged a silent protest in front of Swami Vivekananda’s house on Vivekananda road. The reason for staging a protest there was given by Kalicharan Shaw, the College Outreach Convenor for West Bengal, he said Vivekananda is regarded as the ideological head of BJYM and a role model for today’s youth that is why BJYM has chosen this place for the protest.
The protestors wore black bandanas around there mouth and held placards which accused the T.M.C.P of being goons and making a mockery of the College education system in Bengal.
Kalicharan, who completed his B.Com this year and looking to get admission in M.Com stated –
“Any of the colleges I go to I will be asked for money. The frustrating part is, after 12 to 15 years of hard work and academic rigour one can’t get an admission without paying the gate-keeper, who in this is the T.M.C.P. That is why we have staged a protest against this horrendous practice of extortion of money. We are also here to pay homage to Amlan Sarkar who took his life because he could not pay the money asked by the T.M.C.P.”
Pointing out the larger hand at play, Dinesh Pandey, chairman of South Kolkata BJP unit stated –
“T.M.C.P has evolved into an organization with similar traits to that of a criminal organization. I can show you in Jaipuria College, Surendranath College and in many other places, people who are 40 to 50 years old are in T.M.C.P. Thus, it is no longer a student organization of the T.M.C but an arm of the party to extort money from the students to fill up the Party’s coffers.”
T.M.C supremo and West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has earlier directed the police administration to take strict action against such T.M.C.P units and many student leaders have been arrested.