VC is behaving like 'palegar', say critics

Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University (BU), N Prabhu Dev, is behaving like a ‘palegar’ (chieftain), his critics said here on Saturday. This comes a day after six members of the varsity’s Syndicate said they were not part of the joint action committee (JAC) that wanted the VC to go.

The JAC, headed by Syndicate member D S Krishna, reacted sharply to the open letter written by Prabhu Dev on June 13.  “This is university not his (Prabhu Dev’s) personal fiefdom,” it said. It also accused him of being “anti-democracy” and said anyone disagreeing with him became his “enemy”. The Syndicate had not met in the last six months, Krishna alleged.

“All important orders have been issued by the VC himself. This shows that nobody obeys him,” the JAC said, refuting Prabhu Dev’s allegation that the office-bearers of the Bangalore University Teachers’ Council were “not legally elected”.  “The general body has accepted them (the office-bearers). (A good) 265 members have endorsed it in writing,” he said.

Meanwhile, cracks have appeared among the Syndicate members and six of them have distanced themselves from the JAC.  Of them, five are principals of affiliated colleges nominated to the Syndicate and the sixth is nominated by the Governor.

B P Madhumati, Principal of Sri Sarvajna College of Education and a Syndicate member, said it had become hard for the vested interests to digest the reforms introduced by the VC and hence they were after him.

She supported Dev’s stand on convening the Syndicate meeting and accused the government nominees of “resorting to violence and hooliganism”. “Prabhu Dev’s critics would not let him conduct the meetings peacefully. They would throw bottles at him and abuse those who defend him,” Madhumati said, adding that it was impossible to conduct the meeting without proper police protection.

The JAC comprises Syndicate members nominated by the State government, some disgruntled elements in the Academic Council and a section of the university’s teaching and non-teaching staff. Other Syndicate members P A Michael, B N Srinivasa Rao Mane, and M Narayanaswamy echoed similar sentiments.

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