Nine trustees of the Gujarat Vidyapith on Monday, in a joint statement, announced their resignations to protest the “undue haste” shown in selection of new Chancellor of the university under “political pressure”.
On October 4, the Vidyapith’s board of trustees met and a resolution was passed, by majority vote, to invite Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat as Chancellor of the institute, founded by Mahatma Gandhi on October 18, 1920.
Those resigned from the board of trustees are Narshibhai Hathila, Sudarshan Iyangar, Dr. Anamik Shah, Dr. Mandaben Parikh, Uttambhai Parmar, Chaitanya Bhatt, Neetaben Hardikar, Michal Mazgaonkar, and Kapil Shah.
In a joint statement they stated: “The decision to select new Chancellor was taken in undue haste, under political pressure, out of fear of intimidation, in total disregarding of due process, avoiding need for dialogue as well as without considering other possible names. All values and principles were sacrificed at the altar of expediency… what has happened has happened is indeed, sad, shocking, and unbecoming for an institute of such pedigree.”
“In the last five years the state has changed decisively, it has been subjected bureaucratic heavy-handedness. We are told that unreasonable demands relating to Chancellor’s appointment were made by certain officers. These ranged from the appointee must not be an adherent of certain ‘religion’, ‘he must not be opposed to certain individual’, to later a minister and party people stating that ‘Vidyapith’s representations will be heard only if ‘Mr. X’ is appointed as Chancellor’.”