This is a guest post by ALOK RAI. It was first sent to the Indian Express which refused to publish it.
Deepak Pental’s inter-personal skills are, of course, legendary. And this last – his parting shot in Indian Express (28 October) – merely strengthens his already formidable reputation, and ensures that he will be regarded with the customary affection even as he leaves. Thus, not only is the Teachers’ Association compared to a khap panchayat – could this conceivably be a compliment, either to his beloved teachers, or to the khap panchayats? – but an entirely gratuitous insult is directed at college teachers, en bloc. Thus, they are stagnant, distant from research, unlike (!) University professors. This is rich, but Professor Pental can manage his own friends and enemies, and I have no desire to engage with him at this point. However, this is being written in the hope that his successor – whoever he or she may be – would at least like to choose their own battles, and not merely fight inherited ones on the bloodied, toxic battlefield bequeathed to them. And, indeed, by way of doing my citizenly duty to assist the honourable judges of the High Court, who are periodically asked to take a stand on the vexed question of “semesterization”.