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‘Pathetic’: Shamnad Basheer calls out NUJS admin response to students' alleged beating by thugs

Basheer pens poem to summarise his feelings for NUJS admin
Basheer pens poem to summarise his feelings for NUJS admin

Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) founder and managing trustee Shamnad Basheer has condemned NUJS Kolkata's administration distancing itself from IDIA, following the alleged brutal assault of IDIA volunteers studying at NUJS.

The NUJS administration had made a press release and statements last week that the beaten students “did not have any prior approval from the WBNUJS authorities”, and that NUJS was a separate organisation from IDIA.

In a statement that he released on Linkedin, Basheer over the weekend called out the response of his former employer, NUJS, to the incident as being “pathetic” and a “disappointment”, saying:

Our statement on the murderous assault on our NUJS IDIA team members by state goondas. And our disappointment with the pathetic response of the WB NUJS administration (VC and Registrar). Though I must say that individual faculty members went out of their way to provide emotional and other support to the students.

I had no idea of the extent of trauma suffered by these students till I visited them recently. Hope they heal. And heal well.

We decided to express our anguish in verse. All details in IDIA blog link below. And I extract our short verse ("Walk the Talk") below.

Walk the Talk

They taught us the talk,

Justice, equity and all.

But whither the walk?

To help those in need,

With many mouths to feed.

Our hearts yearn to do What our books command us to!

So we strive to set right,

The notoriety of might.

But they ravage and maul State goondas, so tall!

Bruised and maimed,

We return to be shamed?

“How reckless, how trite,

How dare you do what’s right!

Go back to your books.

Grades, moots and all.

As a student, that's your only call!

When you can talk the talk, why walk the walk?

At your notion of justice, we do balk!

The beauty of law is in the book That's the only place you need to look!”

IDIA was founded by Basheer in March 2010, while he was a professor at NUJS as a mass movement to support the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) preparation of selected students from underprivileged communities in India, through sponsors within and beyond the legal profession.

Basheer resigned from NUJS in 2014 after differences with Prof Ishwara Bhat who was the law school's vice chancellor (VC) at the time and has continued as VC to date.

IDIA has evolved over time from helping underprivileged scholarly students get into law schools, to the scholars then acting on the principle of paying it forward and taking up various socio-legal initiatives while in law school.

It was one such initiative by the IDIA volunteers studying at NUJS that led them to confront a contractor proceeding with illegal demolition that was in contempt of court, and getting brutally assaulted and molested by the contractor's goons in the process.

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