New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru university has once again hogged the headlines as the administrative body asked renowned historian Romila Thapar for her curriculum vitae (CV) to assess her eligibility to continue as Professor Emerita in the university. Amid widespread protests, Thapar said she is not willing to share her CV with the JNU administrative body. In an interview given to a national website on Thursday, Thapar said that the status of Professor Emerita was awarded for a lifetime.
“JNU administration is going against the basics by asking for my CV now,” the eminent historian said.
The varsity campus saw protests over the last few days, with rallies and meetings against the move, organised both by the students and teachers' associations. JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA) alleged that the varsity administration's move was politically motivated and deliberately intended to undermine Thapar who is deemed to be a leftist historian.
The Padma Bhushan awardee is the legendary author of several books on Ancient India, the most popular being 'A History of India'.
After a row of frequent stirs and social media campaigns, the university registrar revealed that 11 other professors were also asked to submit their CVs along with Thapar.
“We asked her CV with the objective of ascertaining Thapar's availability and willingness to continue as the professor emerita,” a spokesperson of JNU administration told media.
The university administration justified its move by referring to a clause in the governing ordinance which suggests to write to all those who have attained the age of 75 years to know their availability and willingness to continue their association with the university.
The teachers' association lashed out at the administrative body calling the latter's move 'such blatant falsehood.' It cited the administration's letter to expose its true motive in demanding the CV. This letter stated 'Assessment of Past Work of Professor Emeritus in Jawaharlal Nehru University for the committee to decide on continuation'. This "is all the evidence needed to expose the true intentions of the JNU administration," the JNUTA stated.
“We find it laughable that the current JNU administration thinks that confessing to an insult on a larger scale counts as a defence. ...by casting its net wide across several Professors Emeriti, the JNU Registrar has initiated a process of bringing JNU's past before its Executive Council, so that it can proceed to undo it entirely," the JNUTA added.
The teachers body demanded the administration to retract all the letters sent to professors emiriti and send personal apologies to each of them. Professors H S Gill, C K Varshney, SD Muni, Ashok Sanjay Guha, Asis Datta, R Rajaraman, Yogendra Singh, D Banerji, T K Oommen, Amit Bhaduri and Shiela Bhalla are the others who were asked for their CVs by the JNU administration.
The students and teachers of JNU have also taken their protests to social media. The Union HRD Ministry, meanwhile, clarified that there was no move by the JNU to discontinue anyone's professor emeritus status and only the standard procedures were being followed.
The JNU students union has also come out against the admin panel's move. “If there are any brains left with the JNU VC, he should immediately apologise to Prof Romila Thapar and stop this motiveless destruction of JNU,” NS Sai Balaji, the president of JNU Students' Union said.