Private schools and colleges will remain shut in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday to protest against AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa's conviction, on the day Karnataka High Court is slated to hear the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's bail plea in the disproportionate assets case.
After a huge hue and cry in the state over Amma's conviction on 27 September, Tamil Nadu lawyers' protests and accusations that Karnataka High Court deliberately postponed Jayalalithaa's bail plea last week, now the educational institutions in the state has roped in students to protest against the court decree.
On Sunday, Anna University-affiliated colleges, including Association of Management Colleges and the Federation of Associations of Private Schools (FAPS) declared that they will be shutting down all the private schools and colleges in the state on Tuesday.
The federation has declared holiday not just to protest Jayalalithaa's conviction, but also demanding her release from the Karnataka jail. The move will impact thousands of students from over 500 engineering colleges and more than 1200 private schools, which will remain closed on Tuesday.
"We will demand that Jayalalithaa be released from the Karnataka prison for the sake of the people of Tamil Nadu," The Times of India quoted FAPS secretary D C Elangovan as saying.
While educational institutions' association has dubbed their move as an expression of grief on the former CM's conviction; parents, academics, opposition parties and experts have termed it a political agenda. They said by declaring a holiday, private colleges and schools are politicising the conviction and forcing students into their political game.
"Jayalalithaa was the chief minister of our state. Private school management is of the opinion that it is a part of our duty to express our grief at her conviction," Tamil Nadu Private Schools Association president R Visalakshi said.
State Platform for Common School System general secretary P Prince Gajendra Babu has declared the move to shut down schools and colleges as illegal saying only the government has the right to make such a decision.
"The Federation of Associations of Private Schools had threatened to close schools earlier too. The government should not allow any individual or group to take the law into their hands," Babu said.