Arif Mohammad Khan | Pic: Express
Arif Mohammad Khan | Pic: Express

Kerala University VC responds to Governor's statement that his language was obnoxious. Here's what he said

The Governor, who is at loggerheads with the state govt over alleged political interference in the functioning of the universities, had said earlier thathe is willing to renounce powers as Chancellor

In an apparent reference to the Kerala University Vice-Chancellor's statement on January 11 that "the hands tend to tremble when the mind is shaken", Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said anyone who says things which are not true would feel nervous.

Kerala varsity's VC VP Mahadevan Pillai on Tuesday, January 11 issued a statement typed out in Malayalam on a Kerala University letterhead, which said, "I am very careful not to lose the grammar and spelling of life. The hands tend to tremble when the mind is shaken and I do not see it as a shortcoming." 

His statement came in response to the Governor's criticism of the language used by the VC in an earlier letter written by him with regards to the conferring of an honourary DLitt degree on President Ram Nath Kovind. Pillai, in his earlier letter dated December 7, 2021, had said, "After returning, I have discussed with several members of Syndicate about the matter of conferring DLitt degree on His Excellency, the President of India. The members of the Syndicate turn (sic) it down." 

Khan had termed the language used in the letter as "obnoxious". On Wednesday, when reporters asked him why the VC was saying he was nervous writing the letter, Khan said, "Who am I to tell you why he was nervous? Only he can tell you that." Khan said he had directed Pillai to convene a meeting of the Kerala University Syndicate to consider his recommendation for conferring a DLitt on the President.

"Instead of holding the meeting, he informed me that the Syndicate turned it (proposal) down. Anybody will feel nervous after saying things that were not true. If I give instructions, should I not check with the man whether he has carried it out or not," he said.

He further clarified that he was "criticising the language in the letter". Regarding the Congress-led UDF opposition's contention that the Governor should take action against the alleged illegal reappointment of the Kannur University VC, Khan said they were not his advisors, and that these things will take time.

Khan also said that if he resumes as chancellor, then drastic actions would be taken as he said recently, which is why he was giving time to the state government to take steps to resolve the issues. 

Khan had earlier expressed his wish to step down as the Chancellor of universities in the state from December 8 last year, alleging political interference in their functioning.

The Governor, who is at loggerheads with the state government over alleged political interference in the functioning of the universities, had said on December 30, 2021, that he was even ready to transfer the powers of chancellor to the state Higher Education Minister, who is also the Pro-Chancellor of the varsities.