Row after BCU skips Gandhi Jayanti on VC's order

BCU Vice-Chancellor Prof S Japhet. (DH Photo)

The Bengaluru Central University (BCU) has waded into a row after its vice-chancellor instructed students not to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Though a circular was issued by the varsity registrar listing the series of events to be conducted on the day, Vice-Chancellor Prof S Japhet gave oral instructions against any celebrations on October 2.

The decision has irked the students and staff of the university. “Gandhi Jayanti is one of the national festivals and it is the responsibility of the university to celebrate the day and teach Gandhian values to students,” said the university staff.

“The vice-chancellor seems to be acting like a dictator. How can he postpone or halt the celebrations? We will file a complaint before the state higher education minister and demand action against him,” said one staff member.

Meanwhile, varsity syndicate members decided to seek a clarification from the vice-chancellor. “It is mandatory for higher education institutions to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti.

We have no idea why the vice-chancellor is taking decisions according to his whims and fancies. We will raise the issue in the syndicate meeting. He should give a clarification,” said Dr Aravinda H T, a senior syndicate member of the BCU.

Prof S Japhet, however, justified his decision. “It was a thoughtful move to postpone the celebrations as we wanted to do it in a meaningful manner with the participation of all students. The admissions are just over and first year students have yet to report to classes. We will do it in a week’s time,” he said.

BCU registrar Prof V Sivaram said a circular was issued about the celebrations. “But there were oral instructions by the vice-chancellor against the celebrations and I had to obey his orders,” he said.

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