MP School of drama rusticates 8 students who staged protest
MP School of drama rusticates 8 students who staged protest

Bhopal: Eight students of MP School of Drama (MPSD) have been rusticated from the institution for violating the code of conduct prescribed for them and “for behaviour and conduct unbecoming of a student”.  

The School has rusticated Priyam Jain, Rahul Kushwaha, Rajesh Kumar, Anjali Singh, Vinay Baghela, Ghanshyam Soni, Saumya Bharti and Ketki Ashda of 2019-20 batch. The order was emailed to students late on Monday night.

The students have been protesting for the past 12 days demanding that the classes, which they missed due to Covid-induced restrictions should be held. Some of them are protesting through social media while others have been staging protests on the MPSD’s premises.

Priyam Jain told Free Press that they have not violated any code of conduct and are only protesting through democratic means. “We want that the four months’ classes which we have missed should be held once the corona restrictions are lifted,” he said. Priyam said that school management’s action of rusticating them without giving them a show cause notice is unjust.     

Theatre actor and director Sanjay Mehta described the school’s decision as “foolish”. “The students are not indulging in any undemocratic or illegal activities. They are just demanding that their course should be completed. In fact, the decision to rusticate them is arbitrary and against the principles of natural justice and action should be taken against school director and not the students,” Mehta said.

Former Sindhi Akademi director Ashok Bulani said rustication of the students was wrong. A warning should have been given to students before taking harsh action, he added.

Shalini Malviya who is doing post graduation in theatre from Hyderabad University said the decision is “irresponsible”. “School should listen to their problems rather than throwing them the door,” she said, adding, “I can understand their problems because I am in the same situation as they are. Their demand is justified. They are protesting peacefully. There is nothing wrong in it,” she said.

On Monday, the students had recited poems of Harishankar Parsai, Atal B Vajpayee among others on the premises as mark of protest. About 15 people including alumni of the school, National School of Drama, New Delhi, and local artistes joined them.

School director Alok Chatterjee had informed me that some of the protesting students had misbehaved with him and had even spit on him. I had asked the director to take action as per rules against for indiscipline. I am also told that of 26 students, not more than 10 want compensatory classes. We will not allow the students to suffer. After the situation improves, extra classes will be held.
Aditi Kumar Tripathi, director, culture dept

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