Published: 11th May 2021
Calicut university issues memo to teacher who slammed EWS, reservation, much to academics' ire
K S Madhavan had co-authored an opinion piece in a Malayalam newspaper, where he had criticised the improper implementation of reservations in the universities in Kerala
Around 100 academicians and research scholars from across the world have come forward criticising the decision of the University of Calicut to issue a memo to one of its professors, Dr K S Madhavan. A Dalit thinker and an academician, Madhavan, had co-authored an opinion piece in a Malayalam newspaper, where he had criticised the improper implementation of reservations in the universities in Kerala.
A few signatories include former UGC Chairman Sukhadeo Thorat, EFLU Professor K Satyanarayana and historian Uma Chakravarti.
The opinion piece, which was published on April 21 also criticised the EWS reservation for people from forward castes. It also says that the National Commission for SC and ST had sought a report from the University of Calicut regarding the implementation of reservation norms in academic appointments. "The centuries-old vestiges of caste had deprived and oppressed sections of Indian society from participating in knowledge production. Universities are supposed to guarantee equal opportunities so that people from disadvantaged communities are properly represented in higher educational institutions. Shockingly, the university that is supposed to stand for social inclusion and freedom of speech is attempting to subvert the very efforts towards achieving those principles," reads the statement that is signed by 98 people.
"This is unbecoming of a university that should have been a place for ‘humanism, tolerance, and reason.’ Therefore, we, the undersigned, demand that the University of Calicut desist from destroying academic freedom and retract from threatening Dr. K S Madhavan with disciplinary action," it further says. The copies of the statement were sent to the university's Vice-Chancellor K Jayaraj, Kerala Governor Arif Mohamed Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan