Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 18 May 2024 6.29 PM IST

Justice received by Dr Rema; lesson that student bodies should not try to create teachers who are not vocal


Discipline is essential for the survival and good running of any organization and the responsibility of ensuring it rests with the head of the organization. In the case of educational institutions, this responsibility rests with the Headmaster or Principal. It is the duty of the head of the institution to take action and ensure the discipline of the institution if there are any acts that bring disrepute to the institution whether it is from the teachers or the students. However, in some educational institutes dominated by certain student organizations, that particular organization does not allow the principal to take action against any misbehaviour by the members of that organization. If any head of the organization goes beyond that and takes action against them, there will be drastic measures on the part of the organization not allowing the head to work or live in peace!

They will not hesitate to bring a coffin in front of the principal's room and raise slogans or use political influence to frame the principal in a case by making false complaints. Many such incidents have taken place in Kerala. They dictate that the head of the institution should sit back and say, 'I see, speak and hear nothing' even if the members of the dominant organization run wild on the campus intoxicated by drugs or physically and mentally harass the students on the enemy side. It is this unbridled functioning of organizations that leads to incidents like the mysterious death of Siddharth at Pookode Veterinary Campus.

If such incidents are to be avoided, the government should provide proper moral support to the heads of institutions that take action against such wrongdoings. Not only did it not happen here, but the government was working in a manner that seemed like holding an umbrella to the organization that was on the wrong side.

During her tenure as Principal of Kasaragod College, Dr M Rema had taken strict measures to ensure discipline in the institution. When the SFI workers who did not like this came forward against the principal, Dr Rema publicly made allegations against the organization. Rema had revealed that there is rampant drug use in the college, ragging and unethical activities are taking place and it was because she took action against this that the SFI turned against her. What followed was a move to teach a lesson to the principal who publicly reacted against the organization. They raised false complaints against the principal. On the basis of a complaint among these, the Education Department issued a charge sheet against Rema on the last day of her service. The only motive behind this was to torment her mentally and financially without giving her retirement benefits.

Rama had no other option but to approach the High Court against this. Criticizing the government, the court quashed the departmental proceedings announced by the government against Dr Rema. The court accepted Rema's contention that the investigation was one-sided and that external interference and vested interests were evident in the proceedings. The court also quashed the charge sheets issued as part of the disciplinary proceedings. By giving justice to Rema, the High Court has also shed light on the lapses in discipline in educational institutions. Embedded in this judgment is the message that a student body should not try to create teachers who are not vocal.

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