Over 50 eminent academicians have condemned as baseless the remarks made by Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan describing the vice-chancellor of Kannur University, Gopinath Ravindran, as a criminal.
Ravindran is a leading historian, with specialisation in agrarian history of Kerala and historical demography. He was head of the department of history and culture at the Jamia Millia Islamia Central University, and has been member secretary of the Indian Council of Historical Research. He has also served as director of the Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution at the Jamia Millia Islamia.
The academicians issued a statement to express shock over the reported remark by Khan.
“The false, defamatory and politically motivated campaign against the vice-chancellor by the governor and the chancellor of the university is unacceptable. The governor must stop this harassment of a distinguished historian and vice-chancellor immediately,” the statement said.
As vice-chancellor, Ravindran had led Kannur University with distinction, the statement said.
“The governor has, on earlier occasions, questioned the re-appointment of Ravindran as vice-chancellor. The high court, however, dismissed a writ petition that sought to remove Ravindran from the post,” the academicians pointed out in the statement.
The signatories included Romila Thapar, professor emerita at Jawaharlal Nehru University; Kesavan Veluthat, retired professor in the history department at Delhi University; Vasanthi Devi, former VC of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University; Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi, professor in the department of history at Aligarh Muslim University; and professor Abdul Matin from Jadavpur University’s history department.