Visva-Bharati has issued a show cause notice to the president of its faculty association, Sudipta Bhattacharya, for allegedly violating code of conduct by approaching media with “internal correspondence". The notice, issued on December 19, accused Bhattacharya of interacting with media without approval of the university authorities.
Authorities, between December 9 and 18, have come across reports in the print and digital media on “internal discussions" that were held at the varsity, the notice said, and sought to know why this conduct be not considered as “subordination". “You are hereby requested to explain why such acts of yours should not be treated as indiscipline, insubordination and violations of service conditions and conduct rules/regulations and why disciplinary action should not be taken against you," the varsity told Bhattacharya in its show-cause notice.
It, however, did not cite any particular media report. Recent reports in the media suggested that Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty had criticised Nobel laureate Amartya Sen during a virtual meeting with faculty members last week.
According to the reports, the VC, during the meeting, claimed that Sen, who now lives in the US, had called him up in 2019 to oppose hawker eviction outside his residence in Santiniketan, adjacent to the varsity. Bhattacharya then apparently wrote a mail to Sen to verify the matter, and Sen’s faculty assistant replied on his behalf asserting that the Nobel laureate had not made any such request.
The entire episode, with extracts of emails exchanged, was printed in newspapers and broadcasted on TV channels. A varsity official said its top brass was upset with the Visva Bharati University Faculty Association (VBUFA) for creating an unnecessary controversy by “picking up one comment of the VC made in a meeting, thus breaking confidentiality."