Kolkata, Aug 26 (PTI) The Visva Bharati University Faculty Association (VBUFA)on Wednesday alleged that Vice- Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty has put a lid on free exchange of ideas in Tagore's seat of learning.
The VBUFA in a letter to Chakraborty alleged that the concept of 'fearless mind' does not exist in the Central university any more.
The letter by VBUFA comes a week after mayhem and vandalism of Visva Bharati property in the wake of the decision of the university authorities to construct a boundary wall along the Poush Mela ground.
The VBUFA, which is affiliated to all India college teachers' body AIFUCTO, said that the VC has sent nine 'missives' (letters) in a span of nearly two months and alleged that the VC's exhortations in the open letters and attitude towards the faculty don't match.
Referring to one of Chakrabortys letter quoting Tagore's, 'where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,' it said: 'While you quote the poet and exhort the stakeholders of Visva-Bharati to emulate his ethos, you trample their right to the freedom of expression and the spirit of exchange of views..., thereby contradicting and negating Tagore's philosophy of life and education.
'Throughout his life, Tagore questioned and subverted all forms of authoritarianism and oppression through his words and deeds. We implore and urge you to restore equality in the exchange of ideas and discussions in general, and while discussing Visva-Bharati in particular,' the VBUFA said in the letter sent to the VC on Wednesday.
It said the metaphors of 'fearless mind' and 'high- held heads' do not seem to be quite appropriate for the present day Visva-Bharati where a 'fundamental asymmetry marks the relation between various stakeholders of the university.' The VBUFA said, 'while the VC had put the missives in the public domain and they carry the authenticating seal of the Vice-Chancellor of Visva-Bharati, the faculty members and other staff are not allowed to air their views publicly as there is a blanket ban on their freedom of expression, imposed upon them, citing rules of the Government of India.' Claiming the 'missives' appear to be Chakraborty's personal views, rather than being an objective assessment of the state of the matter, VBUFA said, 'we are not aware of any effort to solicit and incorporate the views of the stakeholders of Visva-Bharati in the whole process, which is an essential condition for the academic rejuvenation of this great institution.' It alleged that Chakraborty has lowered the prestige of Visva Bharati community by his open letters.
On Chakraborty's repeated calls to colleagues, students and other stakeholders of Visva-Bharati to come forward and restore the glory of the world renowned institution, the letter said: 'We are, however, afraid that the tone and tenor of all the missives make that statement appear nothing less than perfunctory.' The VBUFA also said previous VCs too did not play their role in steering the varsity on the right path in all these years and this contributed to the slide of Visva Bharati over the years. PTI SUS RG RG