UoM a glutton for embarrassment

UoM a glutton for embarrassment

The University Syndicate decided in January to confer honorary doctorates on the former Maharaja of Mysore, the late Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar 71 years after his death, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, vocalist Pandit Rajiv Taranath and cardiologist Deviprasad Shetty.

Even as the decision to honour the former Maharaja raised stormy opposition from his admirers who questioned the UoM’s wisdom in equating the most celebrated King in the history of Mysore with others, the fresh controversy is sure to show the university in bad light.|

Honour rejected |

“It is a great honour for him (Tendulkar) to be appreciated for his contribution in the field of cricket. Unfortunately, he has made a decision that he does not accept any honourary doctorates while he is still actively playing cricket for India,” his wife Anjali wrote to the Vice-Chancellor last week.

Sachin’s name is out of the invite for the convocation scheduled on April 10. The revised list mentions the former Maharaja who was described by Mahatma Gandhi as ‘Rajarishi’, and three others.

Tendulkar had on an earlier occasion refused to accept a honourary doctoral degree conferred on him by Rajeev Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS). Many now seem to feel that the UoM syndicate should have drawn a lesson from the RGUHS case, and avoided being snubbed.

Unaware of refusal

Syndicate member Gopinath told Deccan Herald that the syndicate was not aware that the cricketer had refused to accept a similar honour from RGUHS and University of Bombay. “The issue never came for discussion. The syndicate only discussed about his achievements,” he said.

Registrar P S Nayak said that the late Maharaja would be honoured posthumously despite opposition from a section. “There are people who have very much appreciated the decision,” he said.

“It is a shame on UoM. A cricketer refuses to accept and the UoM is ready to belittle a legendary King, who is also the founder of the University. The ordinary men cannot match the stature of benevolent Maharaja who contributed so much for the development of Mysore and the state. We told this to the Vice-Chancellor and wrote to Governor,” P V Nanjaraje Urs, a close associate of the royal family of Mysore said.

Who will accept the honour on behalf of the late Maharaja? “Vice-Chancellor Talawar himself must accept it”, Urs said, adding that the scion of erstwhile royal family Srikantadutta Narasimharaja Wadiyar and his three sisters were all pained by the decision and had refused to attend the convocation and accept the honour.

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