Petition Against Closure of Activity Center and U Special Bookshop in Delhi University sign now

To
The Vice-Chancellor
University of Delhi
Delhi

5 September 2010

Sir,

This is to bring to your notice a matter of grave concern to all members of the Delhi University community.

Two letters* dated Aug. 16th and 17th 2010 from the Assistant Registrar (Estate) state that it has been decided by the Competent Authority to relocate the Offices of the DSW and the Office of Culture and Youth Affairs to the rooms on the First Floor of the University Centre. These letters have been marked, among others to The Caretaker, University Centre, University of Delhi for preparation of list of inventories and Furniture for record. The same letters state that the demolition of the current buildings in which the above two offices are currently housed should proceed as early as possible.

These letters clearly imply that the First Floor of the University Centre will very soon no longer remain the creative Student Activity Centre that it has come to be. This is extremely disturbing.

It is doubly disturbing that The Independent Publishers Group (IPG), a collective of Independent presses that runs U Special, the only academic bookshop on the North Campus of the Delhi University, has also received a verbal notice from the DU Registrars office. Ms Indira Chandrashekhar of the IPG has been told that the IPG will have to vacate the space the bookshop occupies on the Ground Floor of the University Centre building.
The U Special is a small bookshop with a large presence in the academic world of Delhi University. It stocks a growing variety of interesting and important academic titles in Hindi and in English that is intellectually invaluable to students and researchers. Books are clearly more than just commodities for the IPG. This is amply reflected in the personalized, informed and helpful manner in which the bookshop is managed and run. Besides browsing for personal interest, which is always very pleasurable, the U-Special is also an extremely important resource for teachers and librarians, many of whom regularly order titles for their libraries from here. The bookshop is therefore not just crucial to the emergence of the University Centre as a lively hub of intellectual exchange and debate, but is also deeply integrated with the institutional practices of the University.
The Amphitheatre, the Spic Macay canteen, the discussions, film screenings and theatre and other workshops that are regularly organized in the rooms of the Students Activity Centre on the First Floor, constitute, together with the bookshop, an integrated whole, the activities of the one feeding into those of the other. A huge collective effort has shaped the University Centre into a space for creative interaction among students, teachers and public intellectuals. An enormous potential remains to be tapped.
We, the undersigned members of the university community urge you to intercede in this matter and ensure that:

(a) the U Special is allowed to continue functioning from the same premises it currently occupies; and

(b) the integrity of the University Centre and its various activities remain undisturbed.

Relocating University offices is no reason for proposing the dismemberment of a living intellectual and academic entity in the heart of Delhi University. The right of the Competent Authority to take this decision is no guarantee of its wisdom.

* (Letter No. Estate/2010/53 23633 | Dated: 16th Aug., 2010; Letter No. Estate/2010/55 23707 | Dated: 17th Aug., 2010)

Thanking You,
Regards,

[Please Note: The above letter will be printed and submitted to the Vice Chancellor's office by the 10 September 2010; So all signatories must submit their signatures by latest by 9th September 2010)]

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Keri LuceroBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
Vice Chancellor of Delhi University

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