New Delhi: Gopinath Ravindran, member secretary of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), has quit midway in his tenure amid reports that he had developed sharp differences with chairperson Y Sudershan Rao over the functioning of the body. He was a UPA appointee and his three-year term was to expire in 2016. If accepted by ICHR, his resignation has to be placed before the HRD Ministry.
Sources said Ravindran resigned earlier this week. Differences between Ravindran and ICHR had become apparent when he had objected to the Council's decision to scrap the editorial board and the advisory committee of the prestigious Indian Historical Review, the ICHR's journal, having eminent historians like Romila Thapar.
Reports suggest he was not being consulted on various other issues ever since the the ICHR was reconstituted by the Smriti Irani-led HRD Ministry early this year. When his dissent was made part of the minutes of the meeting of ICHR's council, Rao had maintained that member-secretary is not a member of the council and therefore his views cannot be made part of the minutes.
According to sources, Ravindran had cited the organisation's Memorandum of Association to show that he indeed is a member of the council. Ravindran's resignation comes amid growing concern in some quarters over the alleged saffronisation of ICHR. A couple of months back at a foundation day meeting, he had to face strong opposition from a section of the crowd when he voiced his disagreement over the views expressed by vedic scholar David Frawley.