JNUTA Statement on Suspension of Dr Shreya Bhattacharji in Jharkhand Central University

The Following is a statement from JNUTA

30 March 2016

On actions of the VC of Central University of Jharkhand

The JNUTA condemns in the strongest possible terms the suspension of Dr. Shreya Bhattacharji and her removal from administrative positions by the Vice Chancellor of Central University of Jharkand. What is simply outrageous is the action on her part that has been deemed as ‘misconduct’ – namely, inviting an eminent academic to be a Guest of Honour at a function in the University. She was assigned the responsibility to organize the event. The presumption underlying the accusation – that the credentials of the invited scholar, Professor M.N. Panini, were questionable as he is considered to be “mentor of the group of students of JNU, who were involved in anti-national activities in JNU campus recently” – would be laughable if it were not a scandal.

Clearly, the maligning of Professor Panini is simply on account of his association with JNU, where he served on the faculty with distinction for many years before his retirement, and has absolutely no relation with recent incidents in JNU.

By falling prey to such false propaganda when he is certainly in a position to know better, the VC of Central University of Jharkhand has only shown himself to be unworthy of being called an academic. That the action of initiating disciplinary proceedings against Dr. Bhattacharji was instigated by the decision of the Governor of Jharkhand to not attend the function where Professor Panini was to be present also betrays the VC’s willingness to completely capitulate before the powers that be. The image of the Central University of Jharkhand and the VC’s own reputation has been tarnished, not by the actions of Dr. Bhattacharji but the ones he has taken against her.

The shocking and unprecedented developments in the Central University of Jharkhand serve only to exemplify the extremely grim situation confronting Universities in India today where their autonomy and their ability to contribute to social progress by being spaces that nurture critical thinking, are under an assault of gigantic magnitude. The suspension of Dr. Bhattacharji is one more expression of a dangerous process that is targeting institution after institution, JNU and HCU being recent instances. While extending its solidarity and support to Dr. Shreya Bhattacharji and Professor Panini, the JNUTA appeals to teachers and academics across the country to unitedly resist this onslaught which can only destroy our University system.

The JNUTA demands immediate withdrawal of the suspension orders and termination of all disciplinary proceedings against Dr. Bhattacharji. It also demands that the VC of Central University of Jharkhand issue a public apology to Professor M.N. Panini.

Ajay Patnaik

President, JNUTA

3 thoughts on “JNUTA Statement on Suspension of Dr Shreya Bhattacharji in Jharkhand Central University”

  1. There is no way the action against Prof. Shreya Bhattacharjee can be justified…further Who is VC , Jharkhand University to certify Prof. Panini in any which way….Shocking …

  2. It is but natural for the right wing demagogues to attack the liberal and anything left of centre. For long the Indian intelligentsia have been sitting on the fence and mouthing platitudes. This attack from the right is good it would remove the opportunistic floaters. One group will flee abroad..one will join the right wing..and one will form the core for fight back. It would be difficult if not impossible to sit on the fence..thank Modi and his band for drawing this sharp boundary on the sands of time..

  3. I completely endorse the views of JNUTA about credentials of Professor Panini, and really shocked about alleged reasons for action against Dr. Bhattacharjee. I Pray to God that sense prevails in the matter.

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