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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 18 New Delhi, April 18, 2020

Tripura CPIM’s ego throws 10,323 teachers in stress along with families.

Saturday 18 April 2020

by Prabhajyoti Roy

Agartala, April 2020

March 31, 2020 is a Black Day for Tripura. In this day 8882 school teachers of the state lost jobs for none of their folly.

While some of the teachers journey started in 2010, others in the profession had entered in 2014. The number 10,323 bears a historical significance in the state’s political history. Since lots of turmoils had happened relating to the issue; ultimately coming from bolt from the blue as the High Court judgement against the recruitment in May 7, 2014. Thereafter, the then ruling Left Front Government of the State’s reaction to the victimized teachers was ’We are with you’ as his service. Lots of teachers of the group had to face untimely death, not being able to face the unbearable situation while a few of them got qualified for the Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET) to get a fresh appointment.

The Left Government of the State was thereafter thrown into gutter in 2018 Assembly poll by the people to pave way for new era. BJP too in its vision document for the poll teachers.

On March 31, 2020 the teaching career for the 8882 teachers came to an end. In future lots of them may get jobs in other departments loosing their identities. In various State Government departments the State Government has created more then ten thousands vacancies to accommodate the 8882 unemployed teachers’ lots. The State Government is now waiting the Supreme Court node to absorb them.

The case history of 10,323 teachers’ case is needed to be discussed a bit here. In 2002, 2006 & 2009 thrice the than Left Government had published advertisements to recruit teachers, mentioning clearly that those who had applied earlier need not apply afresh. The carrot of a government school job had been hung to the youth to overcome the two successive Assembly polls. The years 2003 & 2008 Assembly polls were thus overcome by the CPI-M, riding over the youths as hungry generation.

After the West Bengal debacle for the Left, there came a saying that the ’Golden Age of the Left is running in Tripura’. The CPI-M of the State celebrated their victory in the 2013 Assembly poll with pomp & show, where the West Bengal CPI-M leader Suryakanta Misra had joined happily as a guest.

Over the queries from the press to Misra about why the State Government had stalled recruitment of the school teachers for around the last two decades, Misra had vehemently opposed it as a game plan of the rival opposition campaign. However, he had to bow down over the convincing statistics placed to him.

Sensing trouble ahead the State CPI-M leaders became active to mend the issue.

In the meantime, in 2009 Educational Rights Act was passed throughout the nation & it became implemented in April 1, 2010. Ignoring the Act, the then ruling Left Front of the State at that time had released 4856 posts for the Graduate Teachers & 1100 posts’ offer for the Post-Graduate teachers. Most of the Graduate Teachers were given offer to join in May 2010. The Post-Graduate teachers offer had been released after some time. They had joined in August 2010. Regarding the Graduate Teachers’ appointment there had been lots of hue & cry. The science graduates pointing out the step motherly attitude had created a State wide militant movement forcing the government to give appointment to thousand science graduates, six hundreds of whom were of Pure Science and four hundreds of them for Bio Science to give them posting in the year 2012. Thereafter, 4000 Underground Teachers were given posting with tremors in the State about gross injustice.

The Left Front in the State had maintained in their appointment policy seventy percent seniority & talent & thirty percent needy. After the Graduate Teachers posting in 2010, one after another law suits followed in the High Court. It is not true that the court didn’t oblige the State Government. The State Government rather had ignored the court verdict. In the meantime, the State got equipped with it’s own High Court. Thereafter in 2014, the Agartala High Court bench had passed it’s final verdict that the appointment of 10,323 teachers were illegal. Justice Deepak Gupta, now a Supreme Court judge, who had handled the case in the Agartala High Court bench, tried his best as a mediator between the State Government & those who had filed RTI in the court. In clear-cut tearms Justice Gupta had expressed that there were only twelve to fifteen RTIs faced by the court. If the Government had obliged them, the whole case would be dismissed.

The State Government didn’t however pay any heed to the Justice Gupta’s advice & had filed a leave petition to the Supreme Court while preaching lip service to the 10,323 teachers that it was with the victims.

Thereafter in March 29, 2017 the Supreme Court had quashed the Special Leave Petition of the State & had maintained the judgement of the Agartala High Court as final. The Left-run State Government then had filed another Appeal to the Supreme Court to keep the school education in system. The Supreme Court thereafter gave the State Government six months time more & it came into effect from January 1, 2018.

In the meantime the 2018 State Assembly Poll approached. BJP in it’s vision document of the poll manifesto had given special emphasis to the woes of the 10,323 victimized teachers & had assured them that once in power, the party would deal the issue with a human touch. Meanwhile the Supreme Courts given term had expired & the new State Government had brought it to the notice of the Supreme Court. Considering the situation, the Supreme Court had allowed the 2019-2020 academic year, meaning upto March 31, 2020 to keep the 10,323 lots in Ad-hoc basis.

The historic blunder the Left Govt did out of the overconfidence that they didn’t care to take the Finance Department of the State’s approval before the large scale appointments.

Though their had been no case reported about illegal money deal or favouritism about the distribution of 10,323 teachers job only in the last fortnight, the State’s major vernacular daily ’Dainik Sambad’ had highlighted that in the North District the State’s Kamalpur subdivision a primary school faced closure because of non-cooperation from the doner of the school’s land, who is a village tribal.

According to the news, the CPIM’S partymen had promised the local tribal villager that if he had donated a part of his land to bring up a Government Primary School, his son would be assured a teacher’s job in the school. Sensing trouble ahead the tribal villager had locked the school premises on the ground of breach of trust at least more than six months back. A news got highlighted only recently.

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