28 November, 2020

Gender Bender

A molestation in Presidency College opens a can of worms

Gender Bender

Unionised teachers, lousy management, and unruly students have all but led to a demise of quality higher education in Marxist-ruled West Bengal. And nemesis finally caught up with Presidency College, the Calcutta-based struggling centre of excellence, last week. The alleged molestation of a girl by a senior teacher and an agitation by a small group of students to roll back the price of inexpensive admission forms lit the fuse. It led to some nasty muck-raking, a shoddy cover-up attempt by a typically slothful administration, a night-long students' gherao of the principal, a six-hour blockade of the grimy potholed street on which the college is located and finally a desperate nine-hour shutdown of the college.

This is a fall from grace for the 182-year-old college that has produced some of the country's finest leaders, economists, scientists, writers and artists. The college today is a pale shadow of its glorious past: the government happily packs the 17 departments with sub-par teachers and bans rock shows in the college festival, infrastructure remains primitive, thugs from...



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