Published: 10th March 2020
Madras University will be saffronised: APSC protests against JNU VC's appointment to search committee
The APSC released a statement describe the JNU VC as a person who denied basic rights of students to protest and "targeted leftist students like Kanhaiya Kumar
Student group Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC) of the University of Madras has called for a protest against the appointment of the JNU VC Jagadesh Kumar Mamidala on the search committee to select the varsity's new VC. The search committee is constituted to decide the next VC for the University and the students fear that the presence of Mamidala would result in the appointment of an "RSS-affiliated' VC.
The APSC released a statement describing Jagadesh Kumar as a person who denied basic rights of students to protest and "targetted leftist students like Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and portrayed them as anti-nationals". "Immediately after his appointment, the ABVP violently beat up Najeeb Ahmed and he disappeared that day. He also sent a proposal to Modi government to install an army tank on campus and increased the academic and hostel fees threefold," the Circle explained. They also accuse the VC in their statement of not following reservations in the admission process and in the appointment of professors, "The VC directly appointed professors with RSS connections."
The APSC is demanding that the search committee member be appointed from Tamil Nadu, "Tamil Nadu shines as a state with the most number of people with higher education qualifications in India, it is filled with exceptional educationists and retired VCs. The governor's appointment of Jagadesh Kumar is a great insult and injustice to progressive Tamil Nadu. Hence, he must be removed and an eligible educationist from Tamil Nadu should be appointed," the students aver. "If we don't stop this appointment, democratic rights will be snatched and the University will become a saffron camp. Let us protest this appointment," the statement reads.
Recalling the events of January 5, when a mob ran amok on campus and beat up many protesting students in JNU the APSC said, "When students protested against the fee hike, masked goons entered the campus and launched a terrorist attack on students and professors using iron rods and other weapons. Mamidala was the mastermind behind this attack. He never visited any of the injured students and even the JNU Teachers' Association wrote to the MHRD to remove him," they said in their statement.
"For the first time in the history of Tamil Nadu's Higher Education Department, a sitting VC of a Central University has been appointed as the Head of a search panel of a selection for a state university VC," they alleged. They also accused the ruling party of privatising education, "There are plans to give 48 educational institutions including MU the Institute of Eminence status but this is a part of a long term plan to privatise higher education. Because of these actions, 69 percent reservation and social justice will not be followed henceforth denying education to lakhs of poor BC/MBC/SC/ST students. After Anna University, Madras University will also be saffronised," they argue.
Neither Jagadesh Kumar nor officials from the Madras University Syndicate could be reached for comment.