Visva Bharati responds to the academics’ letter to the President on the dismissal of a professor.

Three days after over 250 academics, including renowned linguist Noam Chomsky, wrote to President Droupadi Murmu regarding the dismissal of a Visva Bharati professor and requesting her intervention, the central university issued a statement regretting that the signatories had signed the letter without understanding the true situation that had rocked the university over the past two years.

Dr. Mahua Banerjee, a spokesperson for Visva Bharati, published a statement on Friday evening claiming that Professor Sudipta Bhattacharya was the head of an unrecognised organisation and had been charged for misbehaviour 14 times in the past by the Executive Council.

It was stated that Bhattacharya’s wrongdoing included aiding students in vandalising university property on campus, gherao of the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar in the past, and gherao of renowned columnist and Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta in January 2020.

Additionally, Visva Bharati asserted that the majority of signatories are from Bengal and one particular state-run university.

“We condemn the teachers who have organised to halt the process of expelling absent and deviant teachers from Visva Bharati…

Visva Bharati not only takes great care in recognising individuals who are eroding the essential ideals advocated by its founder Rabindranath Tagore, but it also disregards the rituals Gurudev instituted for the propagation of his philosophical priorities.

In her statement, the spokesperson said, “It is sad that academics, primarily from West Bengal, have sided with those who are working to ruin and damage the academic foundation of universities.”

The letter by Chomsky and other signatories, dated January 9, described Visva Bharati’s decision to fire Bhyattacharya as flagrantly “illegal,” saying that no adequate investigation was performed to verify the “list of misconducts” purportedly perpetrated by Bhattacharya on multiple times.
PTI has been furnished with a copy of the letter.

The letter to the president stated that Bhattacharya was informed of his “termination of service/contract with Visva Bharati” on December 22 during a meeting of the central university’s executive council.

The letter, signed by Chomsky, economist Amiya Bagchi, former director of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Partha Chatterjee, XLRI Professor Sumit Sarkar, and Jadavpur University Emeritus Professor Supriya Chaudhury, among others, stated that no show cause notice had been issued to the professor in question.

“As the visitor of Visva Bharati and the custodian of statutes and ordinance of the university, we urge you to intervene and ensure that this institute of national importance founded by Rabindranath Tagore continues to foster the spirit of ‘where the mind is without fear’ rather than degenerating into a saga of vendetta, intimidation, and high-handedness by the authorities,” the letter said.

When questioned by PTI, Bhattacharya stated that Visva Bharati has “started a campaign of defamation against people who dared to protest against the misrule of VC, and their most recent statement is also a reference to this act.”

He stated that by categorising the signatories as “primarily from Bengal and from a certain state university,” Visva Bharati exposed its own arrogance and disrespected the state’s teaching community.

“I shall not abandon my pursuit of justice. He asserted that the teaching community and the students were on his side.
Since November 23, a portion of students have staged rallies on campus over the claimed denial of dormitory accommodations to some of their peers and the suspension of six others.

The university has cancelled the convocation ceremony and the annual Poush Mela (a fair conducted in the month of December) as a result of the disturbance.

In a statement released to the media last week, a Visva Bharati spokesperson listed a series of alleged student actions, including vandalism at the vice-chamber chancellor’s and ante-chamber, ransacking of CCTV monitors, physical assault on the VC, and attack on the registrar’s private residence and the VC’s official home, and stated that the university would take legally sanctioned measures, including rustication and dismissal, to restore peace on campus.

“The so-called student movement has been nothing more than an open display of violence.” “The might-makes-right mentality that has characterised this self-proclaimed democratic movement is abhorrent and will be dealt with harshly,” the institution stated in an earlier statement.


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button