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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 23 April 2024

Visva-Bharati axe on ‘anti-VC’ professor

An economics professor suspended for lodging a complaint over an appointment

Snehamoy Chakraborty Santiniketan Published 08.01.21, 02:45 AM
Sudipta Bhattacharyya

Sudipta Bhattacharyya Telegraph Picture

Visva-Bharati on Thursday evening suspended Sudipta Bhattacharyya, an economics professor and president of Visva-Bharati Faculty Association, amid murmurs that the popular teacher was penalised for the role he played in bringing to the fore how vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty had insulted Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen.

According to a letter issued by the varsity, Bhattacharyya was suspended as the Visva-Bharati executive council found him guilty of “misconduct by mass circulating a complaint and derogatory/defamatory/ baseless remarks against a fellow employee and providing the copies of the same to high dignitaries by email”.

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Sources said Bhattacharyya recently lodged a complaint with Prime Minister and varsity chancellor Narendra Modi, varsity’s visitor and President Ram Nath Kovind and other senior officials questioning the appointment of the principal of one of the varsity’s schools. Later, the principal had lodged a complaint with the varsity administration.

Many colleagues of Bhattacharyya questioned if a person could be suspended for lodging a complaint over an appointment.

A source said the reason cited for suspension “is just an eyewash. “Everyone here knows he was the target of the present administration, especially the VC, as he always raised his voice against the misdeeds of authorities.”

“The authorities were livid with him for some time...Recently, when the teachers’ association, especially Bhattacharya, brought to the fore how VC Chakraborty had made some false claims about his telephonic conversation with Amartya Sen, which the Nobel laureate later described it as ‘completely imagined conversation,’ the authorities probably decided to go after him. This is very sad,” said a source in Visva-Bharati.

Bhattacharyya and his teachers’ association had protested when varsity authorities organised a lecture on the Citizenship Amendment Act by Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta.

“Sudiptada (Bhattacharyya) was marked...when he started protesting against the VC’s saffronisation agenda... He was earlier showcaused and committees were formed to harass him,” said a source.

Bhattacharyya could not be reached for comments.

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