Academicians react on Visava-Bharati's statement on CM Mamata; cite it as poor taste

The CM, during her visit to Birbhum district on January 31, said disciplinary action taken against the students and the professor was undemocratic and uncalled for
Pic only for representational purpose (Pic credits: Express)
Pic only for representational purpose (Pic credits: Express)

Several academicians have condemned the statement issued by Visva-Bharati University on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and said it was in poor taste. To recall, University spokesperson Mahua Banerjee, in a statement issued on February 1, defended the institution's disciplinary action against seven protesting students and a faculty member and said the CM made irresponsible statements without checking facts, as stated in a report by PTI

Responding to the statement, former Visva-Bharati vice chancellor Sabujkali Sen said, "I have not seen such a statement during my 40 years of association with Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore's dream place of learning. It is very painful to believe that the VC (Bidyut Chakraborty), an educated person, can draft such a letter which is in very poor taste."

Further, theatre personality Kaushik Sen said the statement reminded him of the dadagiri of local club members. Similarly, educationist and former vice chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University, Pabitra Sarkar, said using such words against a CM is a matter of shame, similar to a street quarrel. 

Indologist and writer Nrisinga Prasad Bhaduri said a VC, who is occupying an institutional post, cannot use such language in a statement. Ashramite and Tagore family descendant Supriyo Tagore alleged that the VC is prone to attack whoever differs from his views.

Following this, when told Mahua Banerjee about the criticism of the statement by several academics, said the university would not make any more comments at present and that it has nothing else to add.

What did the CM say?

The CM, during her visit to Birbhum district on January 31, said disciplinary action taken against the students and the professor was undemocratic and uncalled for.

What was the university's reply?

Responding to the remark, Visva-Bharati, in the statement, said, "The chief minister came to the conclusion that a teacher has been suspended which is false as the said teacher has moved the court after the university recommended punishment against him and the matter is sub-judice. She has not bothered to check that the court has asked two suspended students to offer an apology and they refused and hence were not allowed to sit for a test."

"Another student has offered an apology and all action against him has been waived. Five students are yet to offer an apology while the PhD female researcher has been researching for six long years without any definite result. The CM describing them all as victimised has not done justice to the cause of Visva Bharati or the real situation," the statement said.

Responding to the university's statement, state Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said the CM rightly stood by the students and the faculty member who bore the brunt of the vendetta politics of Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty. Additionally, Bhattacharya accused Visva Bharati of transcending all norms by issuing such a statement against a people's representative which showed how much the premier institution has deviated from the principles and ideals of Gurudev Tagore during the tenure of VC Chakraborty, as stated in a report by PTI

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