The Supreme Court verdict quashing the reappointment of Dr Gopinath Raveendran as vice-chancellor of Kannur University citing “unwarranted interference” by the government has sparked a huge uproar in Kerala with the Opposition and the governor coming out against the chief minister and education minister.
The contentious reappointment of Raveendran, a renowned historian from Jamia Millia Islamia university, in November 2021 after completing his original
term, had led to acrimony between the government and governor Arif Mohammed Khan.
Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan of the Congress on Thursday demanded the resignation of education minister R. Bindu, who had written to the governor seeking the reappointment of Raveendran.
Raveendran said he would not seek a review of Thursday’s verdict and had decided to return to Delhi and rejoin Jamia Millia Islamia. “I am returning to my permanent job in Jamia Millia…. Tomorrow I am rejoining the Jamia Millia history department as professor,” he said.
He replied in the negative when asked if he had felt the reappointment was inappropriate. “No. I did not. I have been teaching for several years and (I have seen) VCs (being) reappointed in several universities,” he said.
Governor Khan, who has been at loggerheads with the LDF government that recently dragged him to the Supreme Court for sitting on important legislation, appeared elated at the verdict that forced Raveendran out.
He directly blamed pressure from chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan that forced him to clear the reappointment of Raveendran. “That has been my position since the beginning,” he told reporters.
“It is wrong to blame the education minister. The education minister, as pro-chancellor, was only used by the chief minister,” Khan added.