An Academy, a Principal, a Strike and a City at a Standstill!

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law academy protestThe kind of high voltage drama that has materialized at the Kerala Law Academy premises at Trivandrum, is one that would give any sociopolitical thriller a run for its money. Its been almost four weeks since a student protest had ensued at the campus, and slowly but surely the waves of revolt have spread out all over the city, bringing at least a small part of it to a standstill.

Its been quite a dramatic week, with the Students Federation of India making a theatrical exit from the strike last week, while the majority of the protestors including the ones under the other three major student unions – KSU, ABVP and AISF – made it quite evident that they consider the compromise pact arrived at, between the SFI and the college management, a mere sham. Accordingly, they have further intensified the protest movement, with even more affecting consequences.

With political parties as the BJP and the Indian National Congress openly joining the fray, in support of the students on strike, we also saw prominent leaders as V Muraleedharan, K Muraleedharan and V V Rajesh express their dissent by launching a hunger strike. And with the chaos building up by the moment, more and more skeletons have been tumbling out of the closet, and several inquiries on the academy’s integrity have been put on demand.

The allegations that have been hurled at the Principal, Dr. Lekshmi Nair range over a plethora of issues, that have already been much dissected and analyzed by the media. Quite a number of students have exhibited the courage to come out in the open and vehemently express their concerns about the college as well as its Principal. Meanwhile, we also got to see the Principal herself in an interview, affirming that the charges leveled by the students are plain baseless.

An auto rickshaw driver  whom I was talking to the other day, was talking of how things have been at Peroorkada, and he seemed to suggest that its only going to get worse with neither the students nor the academy giving in one bit. He also stated in jest that the roads at Peroorkada were a lot cleaner these days, with the incessant water cannoning that has been going on. Today with a couple of protestors threatening to take their own lives and with a passerby losing his life in the turmoil that followed, the entire episode has taken an ugly turn and it is obvious that the earlier an agreement is arrived at, the better.

On a personal note though, I would never understand how Dr. Lekshmi Nair still maintains the resolve to remain the Principal, when a section of her students firmly insist that they would stop at nothing until she resigns. Perhaps we could try not to be judgemental and see these complaints against her as mere accusations, until they are proven otherwise in a court of law. And yet, how does one walk back to a place that was literally shut down for almost a month, owing to the sole reason that your students simply did not want you there?

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