Published: 28th August 2019
Don't make University College a museum, make it an academic hub, KSU tells Kris Gopalakrishnan
An alumnus of University College Thiruvananthapuram, Kris Gopalakrishnan had asked the government to convert it to a museum
On August 23, University College Thiruvananthapuram made it to news for something that was rather non-violent and pleasant, after a very long time. Infosys' Kris Gopalakrishnan, an alumnus of the college was conferred with an honourary doctorate by the University of Kerala in the college. Overwhelmed, Gopalakrishnan had one request at the occasion — dedicate the college to the city and the alumni and convert it into a science and technology museum.
But looks like not many are in accord with this demand. Representing the Kerala Students' Union (Kerala wing of the Congress affiliated NSUI), its college unit President Amal Chandra has penned a letter to Gopalakrishnan expressing his displeasure with the latter's demand. Amal says that instead of converting it to a museum, the college must be revived as a special centre for higher education with peace and security. He also asks Gopalakrishnan to extend his support to ensure that the college follows a merit-based admission procedure and hence eliminate the presence of criminals.
Gopalakrishnan was quoted as saying, "On the occasion of the 150th-anniversary celebrations, the beautiful (University College) building in the centre of the city should be dedicated to the city and its illustrious alumni and be converted into a science and history museum."
"It can be developed further as an academic hub for higher education and research by connecting and developing the premier institutes," reads the letter. He also asks Gopalakrishnan to withdraw his statement. "Kris Gopalakrishnan is someone that I respect a lot. I'm proud to study in a college where he'd studied. But given the history of violence, we should not close down this historic institution. Instead, we must fight for peace," says Amal. He'd posted and emailed the letter to Gopalakrishnan.
KSU also took a stance against the worsening culture, including the recent SFI stabbing controversy, in the college. "Some CPI(M) maintained goons in the name of student activism along with some ne'er-do-well 'intellectual' reprobates are spoiling the name of this historic academic institution with regular controversies of street violence, grave human rights violation, corruption and other undemocratic misconducts inside the campus," reads the letter.
A left bastion, KSU opened its unit in University College, only a few months back. After almost two decades, they will be fighting the college union election, which will be held in September.