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Faculty Members or a Reserved Army: A Journey of the College Contractual lecturers in Jammu and Kashmir

Faculty Members or a Reserved Army: A Journey of the College Contractual lecturers in Jammu and Kashmir
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Who am I? Am I needed anywhere? Am I a part of any system? Do I seek any quantum of respect? Do administrations consider us worth anything? Are my employers aware of my miseries or simply they act as mute spectators enjoying my agonies? These are not questions about my own self only, but all those who form part of the system that I do work for, like thousand of others who are employed as contractual lecturers in the higher education department of the state.

One fine morning, feeling stunned on the way to the college getting on the road, waiting for a vehicle for ferrying me to the college while footing the distance towards my destination, I heard few people pissing behind me relatively, saying “he is a teacher perhaps working in a college” while he was yet to utter this, the other person standing beside him was ready to respond quickly, that “he is rubbing his palms on the meager bucks. He is a contractual Lecturer”. while I was preparing my mind to respond, another guy joined the conversation saying that “these people are easily freaked away sans enduring any security”. My neurons got weary. While i was making my mind to respond to them with a pun, to save my self- respect, I heard the sound of getting down as I was about to reach. This conversation started giving me vibes as my neurons were already high, striking my conscience, leaving me in the deep saga of complexities. This sort of dialog should be the replica of every household, giving genesis to a few mysteries to be redressed.

Who am I? Am I needed anywhere? Am I a part of any system? Do I seek any quantum of respect? Do administrations consider us worth anything? Are my employers aware of my miseries or simply they act as mute spectators enjoying my agonies? These are not questions about my own self only, but all those who form part of the system that I do work for, like thousand of others who are employed as contractual lecturers in the higher education department of the state.

candidates with a plethora of emotions, responsibilities with fleeting instinctual desires to enlighten the masses are not doing anything less than traditional slavery, and it is the system which reinforces bondage in the contemporary era. This slavery is testified by the government by putting contractual teachers in the test tube. A person working on a contractual basis has to face so many hardships and agonies that he often curses his fate as well as the system that has made him face rebukes everywhere. Being a contractual lecturer is seen as immobilized, laden, lumped with crap jobs, and stressed. A contractual lecturer is what we call being an adjunct, temporary or a casual lecturer here in Kashmir. This infamous contractual policy, which is merely a use and throw policy, is being adapted now from the school education department to the university level by practicing educational apartheid. The confluence of frustration, low and delayed salary, joblessness, and maltreatment sink them in the quagmire of despair. This contractual policy is akin to inviting tenders, and those who are willing to offer their services at a lower rate will be given a chance. Those options-less youth who offer their services do not know how they have been instrumentalized to pay for an inefficient policy and allow this slow poison to enter their body. Instead of making recruitments a regular process government remains least bothered about the vacant posts during its period, and they advertise some positions when elections are nearing. This covetousness for power has nothing to do with those who cross the age limit during that period and propel the unemployed to bite the bullet because of their vote bank politics. Additionally, the mechanism of appointing contractual lecturers adds to their agony. Wandering from door to door for attestation of forms, visiting courts for affidavits, every year is not only cumbrous but humiliating, too, and the way they manage it is the reflection of their patience and compulsion else no one could bear all this. After the appointment, some are posted in areas where they had to spend half of their salary as fare, which is another cruelty with their qualification and abilities. Students do not respect them because of this discriminatory contractual tag when they have enlightened almost taught two generations. They are stigmatized and labeled everywhere. They are considered as a liability or to quote Karl Marx, a reserved army used when needed, and suspended when they go against the whims of the perpetrators. Still, they can appear in public without shame, and they gratified of their capabilities. Only the colleagues of their nature understand this capability, and seniors/ permanent faculty underestimate this power by causing and filling several explanations against them. This is how their life goes in colleges.

In the matter of commitment, steadfastness, hard toil, loyalty, and teaching ethics, they have done their best on a meager salary with the hope of optimism. In the majority of cases, they even outdid the permanent faculty with their sharp intellect and pedagogical skills. Still, now they feel alienated from the group of people and curse themselves for achieving such academic standards that gave them false hope of the end of all miseries one day.

“Anyone who has lived in an area with high unemployment knows how it erodes social bonds, lowers the resilience of the unemployed and their families, and damages the prospects of the next generation”.

Can someone go and inquire from the officials and bureaucrats that we are not from Bihar or Gujrat, but we are the children of this nation. Can someone knock there AC Rooms and remind them, “kissi ke bache school Nahinjaate ore kissi ke maa Baap khamosh ho chukey hain”. Who cares, this fraternity of teachers cum untouchables are sans any salary for seven months, is there anyone who will lend ears to our wailing and miseries. We have a family to feed, friends to meet, wives to treat, and society to face. Can someone tell them we have the highest qualifications and experiences than the rest of the departments still? We are being bullied and treated as ” Nothing and Trash……
What makes us so strange and frustrated that we have imaginably lent out our fate to the masters of governors who killed the very emotion of ethos and zest in such a very captive audience of contra-positive contractual job. We give our best; we shape our lives. We provide selectors of role models to society. Still, we are hounded in the characters of salary delay, passive income stipends, and unworthy glances inside the college campuses. The code of our clients doesn’t understand that we have legibility of degrees for which we have burned our system, and analysis making on our fate will lend us to the castles of pessimistic survival. We will witness the history by abandoning these stooges of denial and time will make them understand who we and what we struggled for, stab us, you know what accounts to
alienation, this hebephrenic maneuver. Don’t you watch the prime times debating about cornering literate section of people, and the repercussions it will reproduce? At par with verbal articulatory, you keep denting sermons that we should stick to pen and light it protrudes forth, but contralaterally, you sink us like sewage.

“You are dithering us to resentment; this leads to isolation and soon puts forth the risk factors of instability, which will procure deleterious onslaught both on the society in general and system in particular”.

In the games of such struggle and naive approach from the government, the author is posing a sermon of exit edition to its system of job.

 

“Doth the protest within me, have a glance of the blaze within me”.

 

“The struggle you culled with your arrogance will write the history by its faith”.

 

The Author, Mir Abbas, works as contractual lecturer at Government Degree College Handwara.

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