On the day of her retirement last week, the principal of a Kerala college found a symbolic grave meant for her, set up in front of the college building. Days later, the issue has blown up into a controversy, with fingers being pointed and a case registered against those responsible.
On March 31, a symbolic grave was set up in front of the building of Palakkad Victoria College for N Sarasu, who had taught there for last 23 years. A wreath was placed over the grave which was decorated with yellow and pink flowers. A death note was also placed next to it.
N Sarasu told The News Minute that it was a Left-leaning teachersâ€™ organisation which was behind the insult. â€śThey were not happy with the good developments I brought to the college. So they considered my retirement day as the day of my death and made a grave,â€ť says the college professor.
â€śI am sure that teachers belonging to Left organisations made some SFI students to do it. There is no doubt in it,â€ť she added.
Some of the lecturers have supported Sarasu, even staging a procession condemning the act. ABVP supporters too blame the SFI for the act.
â€śIt was the SFI who did it. Everyone knows that. They had a disagreement with the teacher (Sarasu), who teacher did not support their political activities also. Teachers asked us not to protest against it,â€ť says Abhijith, ABVP Victoria college coordinator.
ABVPâ€™s state joint secretary Arun Kumar told The News Minute that the organisation planned to conduct campaigns against SFIâ€™s â€śculturelessâ€ť practices inside college campuses on Monday.
The SFI district leadership, however, has denied involvement, alleging that rival groups had done this to harm SFIâ€™s image.
â€śWe had differences with the teacherâ€™s actions, but SFIâ€™s way of protesting is to conduct strikes, not to defame or insult someone. The rivals knew that we had some issues with her so obviously any acts against her will point to us,â€ť SFI Palakkad district Secretary Jayadevan told TNM.
Ssarasu has lodged a complaint with the police. â€śI will take legal action against this,â€ť she said.