New Delhi: The principal and the vice principal of Ahmedabad’s H K Arts College have resigned, a first in the history of the college, following the cancellation of the annual day event in which Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani was invited as the chief guest.
Mevani, an alumnus of the college, had been invited by the principal to deliver a talk on the lives and journeys of Dr. BR Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh.
According to sources, members of the college trust – Gujarat Vidyasabha - withdrew their permission for the venue, allegedly after being pressurized by BJP-affiliated student leaders.
“They threatened the trustee members about creating a ruckus if Jignesh Mevani came to the event,” principal Hemant Kumar Shah told News18.
The principal further said that they were compelled to cancel the event after the trust, which includes the 2018 Plitzker winner BV Doshi and noted literary figure Kumarpal Desai, took the controversial decision.
The principal in his resignation letter wrote “Everybody has the freedom of expression in this country and Jignesh Mevani also has the freedom of expression. It is unfortunate that the college is curbing liberty due to political pressure."
Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani slammed the trustees decision as ‘spineless’. “This incident shows how one lecture can shake up the BJP, it shows their fear and cowardice….I was ready yesterday, I am ready today and I will be ready to give a talk in the college provided that the trustees show some courage,” he said.
Associate Professor Sanjay Bhave also came out in support of the principal’s decision to resign. “I feel that Hemant bhai has done the right thing and civil society at large and all those who believe in democracy should be with him. The trust should have allowed Jignesh Mevani to come and the trust should have been with the principal,” he told News18.com