The Ahmedabad University on Friday said the varsity had no role in historian, biographer and author Ramachandra Guha’s decision to not taking up a teaching assignment, and dismissed allegations that it had acted under pressure from the ABVP.
Guha was supposed to join the Ahmedabad University as Shrenik Lalbhai Chair Professor of Humanities and director of the Gandhi Winter School. On Thursday, he tweeted that he shall not be doing so due to "circumstance beyond his control".
"Due to circumstances beyond my control, I shall not be joining Ahmedabad University. I wish AU well; it has fine faculty and an outstanding Vice Chancellor. And may the spirit of Gandhi one day come alive once more in his native Gujarat," Guha tweeted.
The university had announced Guha's appointment on October 16 and soon after, on October 19, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had submitted a memorandum to varsity authorities asking them to reconsider Guha's appointment as his writings were "against Indian culture and traditions".
On Friday evening, Guha tweeted, "As a biographer of Gandhi, I argue with words, not weapons. I am willing to debate and dialogue with anybody, and fear nobody. It is for the good people of Ahmedabad (the Board of AU among them) to make this possible, and feasible."
AU Registrar Bhupendra Shah, however, said the university did not act under any pressure.
"Students of the ABVP had come and given a memorandum to us against his (Guha) appointment as a faculty. The AU has not and will not act under any such pressure and neither it has acted in this case, when a few students gave a memorandum," Shah said.
He added, "The decision was announced by a tweet from Guha. From the AU side, we have not told him anything (to quit). He can only say why he declined after accepting the offer. He has made no communication to us regarding the matter."
ABVP Ahmedabad unit secretary Pravin Desai said they had given a memorandum to the AU listing Guha’s writings against Indian culture and traditions, adding that they did that “in the interest of students”.
"Five of our members had gone to the AU and given a memorandum on October 19. As the final outcome has come in our favour, we think that the AU might have considered our representation on the issue," he claimed.
(With PTI inputs)