Published: 12th July 2021
Kerala Sanskrit prof accused of nepotism: Completely disregarded my qualifications, reduced me to being someone's wife
A group of activists had complained against the wife of an OSD at the Kerala Chief Minister’s Office and point out that she is not qualified. Is this true?
On Sunday, The Save University Campaign Committee, a group of activists who call out alleged illegal appointments in Kerala Universities had sent a complaint letter to the state's Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. This letter was sent in protest after Dr H Poornima, a professor of the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, was appointed the editor of the Malayalam Lexicon, a comprehensive Malayalam-English dictionary, allegedly flouting qualification norms.
The complainants had said that the appointment was nepotistic, as Poornima is the wife of R Mohanan, an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Chief Minister’s Office.
Reacting to the allegations, Poornima said that the happenings over the past few days have affected her quite a lot. "I am not in the right space of mind to react to any of this right now. Maybe in the next few days, I may discuss this in detail. Hopefully, by then, I will be in a better place," she told EdexLive. She said that the allegations have shocked her and had reduced her academic qualifications to merely being someone's wife. "They have completely disregarded all my qualifications. Because I am a woman, I was only seen as a particular person's wife," she says.
A professor of SSUS, Poornima has done her PhD in "synonyms in the Brhattrayi Areas of interest - Sanskrit Grammar, Literature, Translation, Language Studies." She was also the Chairperson for Valuation of University Examinations answer scripts and has delivered various lectures.
The complaint says the appointment of a Sanskrit teacher, ignoring senior Malayalam professors of the university, is against the university statute that only persons proficient in the language are eligible. At the same time, the Kerala University Vice-Chancellor V P Mahadevan Pillai said that the appointment was made by a selection committee comprising experts. However, the university has not clarified whether the appointment is in violation of the stipulation that only people proficient in a certain language can be appointed in the post.
A few of the previous editors of the lexicon are scholars like Sooranad Kunjan Pillai, B C Balakrishnan and linguist P Somasekharan Nair.
(With TNIE Inputs)