Educational institutions becoming political platforms: Bengal governor

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Kolkata, Feb 24 (IANS) Amid the protests at the JNU and Jadavpur University, West Bengal Governor K.N. Tripathi on Wednesday warned that higher educational institutions were becoming ‘platforms of politics’.

Addressing an event here, Tripathi said the freedom of speech and expression was being misused to politically influence the governance of the educational institutions.

“Higher education institutions are becoming platforms of politics. Generations of unhealthy politics needs to be avoided. Educational institutions have been witnessing political and extraneous influences in the governance of educational institutions.

“This is being particularly done in the name of freedom to form associations and freedom of speech and expression, forgetting that these freedoms are subject to reasonable restrictions as provided in the constitution itself,” said Tripathi, the ex-offiicio chancellor of various state-run universities in the state.

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The governor said the “autonomy of a university wasn’t unlimited but controlled by statutes”.

Tripathi’s comments come in the wake of the JNU row and the arrest of its student leader Kanhaiya Kumar.

Protesting against the government’s handling of the issue, a section of Jadavpur University students staged a protest where slogans were raised praising Afzal Guru, hanged for the terror attack on parliament, and seeking independence for Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur and Nagaland.

Tripathi’s comments were condemned by educationists.

“His comments are not that of a governor or a chancellor, rather that of a politician. It is really childish to say that students should refrain from politics. Most of our political leaders came from student politics,” said educationist Pabitra Sarkar.

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