Not very long ago in the political history of the country, one Congress sycophant remarked Indira is India, and India is Indira. At least here is a follower of a political party singing praise for his master in the party. It is rare, though, to see the media expose on irregularities in admission process, illegal appointments and caste-based atrocities turning the vice chancellor of a central university into a sycophant for himself. This is what is happening in Gujarat − the Home-state of our Hon’ble Prime Minister and the university, namely Central University of Gujarat. When individuals heading national institutions start practicing mis-governance of historical proportions and committing irregularities in admission process, it is a serious issue for the nation as well as for the future of the national institutions. This is because incapable academic leadership only results in mis-utilization of societal financial and intellectual resources and undermining the very objectives of the knowledge institutions that the Indian Parliament has created.
When there are allegations of wrong doings, it is unthinkable that the VC of a Central University will be hiding behind the image of the university to declare that that news reports are tarnishing the image of the university. This is only preposterous. Corrupt and persons of doubtful integrity could not be entrusted with the responsibilities to lead national institutions. Democratic governance systems tell us that whenever there are allegations against individuals holding responsible positions, the same should be properly and fairly enquired into to unravel the truth and for ensuring justice.
The news reports on atrocities committed by persons holding statutory positions against SC students in a Central University is a serious issue. How could the news about caste based atrocities of SC students is against the university? How does news on irregularities and illegalities in the process of admission and recruitment defame the university? In this context, the message of the VC, Prof. S. A. Bari on international human rights day to the fraternity of the Central University of Gujarat could be well understood. His frustration and intolerance with the media for highlighting allegations of mis-governance, corruption and caste-based atrocities in the university is also understandable, to quote VC Prof. S.A. Bari “Nevertheless, it is unfortunate to note that recently due to a few unknown and unrelated elements masquerading as journalists and through obscure news items are tarnishing the fair image of the University by printing and publishing factually incorrect, malicious and mischievous, propagandist, anti-establishment and anti- system news and information without ascertaining the actual veracity of the facts, purportedly gathered through some disgruntled and dissatisfied, self- serving elements from both within and outside to cater to their own personal interests using caste and community for personal gains by misusing print and social media.”
In the above statement, the VC is trying to suggest that any news demanding enquiry into the happenings of irregularities and illegalities in the governance of the university on the one hand and protection of people committing caste-based atrocities on the other is against the university. This is clearly falsification of the idea of a university to safeguard ones’ personal failures as an academic leader.
The country is now led by an exemplary Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who has sacrificed everything including his family for the sake of the nation. His idea of Swatch Bharat is to make our home, environment and society clean. So when there are dirty places in our home we need to clean them and move towards Swatch Home. Calling for cleanliness of the home is not to defame the home but to strengthen it. Similarly, when there are allegations of mis-governance, irregularities and caste-based atrocities in the universities, calling for cleaning them is to strengthen these very national institutions. Therefore, it is the duty of everyone in our society to expose those people who are mis-utilizing their leadership position in higher education to practice favouritism, discrimination and creating an environment of fear and disharmony to the detriment of academic interests of the national institutions. Hence, we all say “Jai Ho Central University of Gujarat”.
As institutions are greater than any individuals including the one holding VC position, Prof. S. A. Bari’s hallow accusations against the media in his address on international human rights day, only underscore the case of what a self-serving VC may turn out to be i.e. equating himself with the university. This is because news is about mis-governance and corrupt practices so that the interests of the university, students and faculties are protected. Our confidential sources have indicated that when NAAC team visited the university recently, students expressed their views on how administration led by Prof. S. A. Bari is creating an environment of fear for students and faculty for expressing their democratic views. It is not surprising to see people like Prof. S. A. Bari equating himself as the university and demeaning the role of media, the fourth pillars of our democracy that uphold uncompromised principle of governance and democratic practices. It is the view of this news portal that the central government should initiate thorough enquiry into happenings in the central university of Gujarat that is undermining the future of Indian students and democratic fabrics of our society.