Visva Bharati University authorities on Sunday issued a show cause notice to a professor accusing him of showing inappropriate behaviour towards Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty and not following his instructions during a virtual meeting. The central university authorities claimed in the notice that Manas Maity, professor of physics, had ”hurled abuses” at the VC after being asked to speak on the issue of disbursement of salaries and allegations of ”some teachers being lackeys and trying to derail the agenda by making wild allegations”, during the meeting on June 8.
Maity was asked to reply to the charges within three days. The professor had filed an FIR at Santiniketan police station on Saturday against the VC for allegedly insulting and humiliating him and some other faculty members by making some ”unsavoury comments” against them at the meeting.
Within hours after the show cause was issued to him, Maity claimed that he was silent at the meeting ”despite repeatedly being prodded by the VC and ultimately he was logged out of the interaction”. The professor had also alleged in the FIR that the comments of the VC at the said meeting accusing some faculty members of deliberately leaking the minutes of the meetings and questioning whether ”people having such mindset” are eligible to become teachers of the august institution have lowered the prestige of educators.
Left-leaning Visva Bharati University Faculty Association (VBUJFA), a staunch critic of the VC, condemned the action against Maity and threatened to carry out protests once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted ”against the autocratic attitude of VC and his move to silence the free thinkers in the central institution”. A university source said, ”there is an attempt by the VBUFA to rake up controversy during every meeting convened by the VC instead of highlighting the academic performance of the university founded by Rabindranath Tagore”.
A veteran ashramite said, ”the frequent run-ins between the VC and the VBUFA is sulllying the image of the internationally reputed institution”. Visva-Bharati was formally established as a university in 1921, though it had existed as an educational centre since 1901.