Ahmedabad: The National Institute of Design (NID) here in Gujarat has postponed its annual convocation ceremony scheduled on February 7, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vocal critic and noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as the chief guest, due to "unforeseen circumstances".
Sarabhai had also criticised the BJP government over the new citizenship law. The new date for the convocation will be decided soon, an NID official said.
When asked about the invitation extended to Sarabhai for the event, an official told PTI on Tuesday: "Some people were selected as probable chief guests on the suggestions of various people, and the final decision was taken on the basis of their availability on given dates".
Earlier, in its communication to the graduating students, the NID stated: "On behalf of the Governing Council of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, we deeply regret to inform you that the 40th convocation scheduled on Friday, February 7, 2020, stands postponed due to unforeseen circumstance".
The official said the decision was taken by the governing council of the institute. The governing council comprises senior officials of the Union Ministries of Commerce and Industry, Human Resources Development, and Electronics and IT among its members.
Explaining the decision to put off the event, the official said a lot of preparations had gone into organising the convocation.
"There are some unforeseen circumstances. The institute continues to remain in a preparatory mode as it (new dates) can be announced any time soon," he said. Sarabhai, daughter of noted dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai and space scientist Vikram Sarabhai, has been a vocal critic of PM Modi since he was the chief minister of Gujarat.
She had unsuccessfully contested the the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Gandhinagar seat as an Independent against BJP leader L K Advani.
Sarabhai had also joined protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The NID is an autonomous institute under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It has branches in Gandhinagar and Bengaluru.