The Visva-Bharati Faculty Association (VBFA) on Saturday has demanded a court-monitored probe against the Vice-Chancellor of the Visva-Bharati University professor Bidyut Chakraborty for doing ‘injustice’ to the teaching, non-teaching staff and the students.
“Professor Bidyut Chakraborty is acting like a dictator and is ruthlessly destroying Visva-Bharati and the values of its founder Rabindranath Tagore. The authorities have unleashed a reign of terror and teaching and research have suffered the most,” VBFA said in a statement
The VBFA also released a list of 19 teaching staff who the association claims are helping professor Bidyut Chakraborty in doing ‘injustice’ to the teaching staff and the students.
Speaking to news18.com, President of Visva-Bharati Faculty Association, Sudipta Bhattacharyya, said, “We strongly demand that every action taken by the Vice-Chancellor during the last two years has to be investigated by an acting or retired justice of the High Court. The roles of Professor Bidyut Chakraborty and his cohort should be thoroughly investigated.”
He further said, “The University has incurred huge financial losses in court cases due to their illegal actions. The expenses have to be recovered from the EC members and the concerned officers. We are requesting everybody on the campus to unite and resist to save Visva-Bharati. It is the need of the hour.”
Stand-off between a section of staff members and students between professor Bidyut Chakraborty has been going on for the last couple of years over various administrative and non-administrative issues. There are allegations that the Vice-Chancellor is acting like a BJP member.
Last year, some students members of the left-wing political party were allegedly beaten up by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists for protesting BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta’s lecture on citizenship issue in the campus.
Recently, fresh trouble has started after three Visva-Bharati students – Somnath Shaw, Falguni Pan and Rupa Chakraborty were rusticated for “disrupting the academic atmosphere in the university compound by assembling at Chhatimtala on January 9, 2021 and being involved in disorderly conduct in the name of protest.”
When contacted Somnath Shaw (one of the students who was rusticated), he said, “Our demonstration will continue till the roll-back of our rustication order. We demand justice and we are hopeful that truth will prevail.”
He alleged that they were rusticated for protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the university.
On January 26, 2020, the Vice-Chancellor - while highlighting that the Indian Constitution was formed by a handful of 293 people – at Purbo Pally Senior Boy’s Hostel had said that those opposing the citizenship issue are going with its preamble and considering it as ‘Veda’ but people of this country especially the voters, who formed the parliament can change it if they don’t like it at all.
Meanwhile, Hyderabad University Students’ Union expressed its support to the agitating students of the Visva-Bharati. They said that “intolerance towards dissenting voices spreads throughout the country, the same is felt even in campuses and premier institutions like IITs and JNU. The VC of Visva-Bharati is no different."
“Ever since he took up the mantle of VC he has been attacking students, faculty and employees. This year, three students were suspended for the ‘crime’ of protesting against the unwarranted suspension of one of their professors. This has been done with no regard to the future of the students. We condemn VC’s act and would like to remind him that universities are the place where citizens of this country are nurtured to become thinking individuals who raise their voices against injustice," a statement issued by Hyderabad University Students ‘Union reads.
Visva-Bharati University is a central university which is located in Santiniketan in Birbhum district. It was founded by Rabindranath Tagore who called it Visva-Bharati, which means the communion of the world with India.