Is Hindi propaganda making its way into the public school system?
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said that Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan lacked the jurisdiction to force the resignation of vice chancellors at nine universities for allegedly trying to impose Hindi propaganda in the educational system. Yechury alleged that the Governor was attempting to “manage the higher education system” in order to “promote Hindutva ideology,” according to the governing party (BJP). He stated: “To spread Hindutva ideology in educational institutions, they aim to appoint RSS employees there to spread hindi and take control of the higher education system. Because the Constitution forbids the Governor from issuing such an order, it will be contested in court.” He continued, “The governor lacks the power to issue such a directive. This is politically driven, arbitrary, and illegal.
The governor of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, has also come under fire for forcing the resignations of the vice chancellors of nine of the state’s institutions. Vijayan gave an interview to ANI and stated, “Arif M. Khan, the governor, abuses his position as chancellor to exercise more authority than he actually has. It is undemocratic and an infringement on the authority of VCs. The role of governor is to protect the dignity of the constitution, not to overthrow the government. He is serving as a conduit for the RSS to spread hindi propaganda”
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to revoke M.S. Rajasree’s appointment as Vice-Chancellor of the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Mr. Khan, the university’s chancellor, issued the order (KTU).
The Governor claimed in a communiqué that the Vice-Chancellor appointment procedure had violated University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines. For starters, according to the Raj Bhavan, the search committees failed to provide the Chancellor with a panel of three to five applicants so that the Governor could make a well-informed decision.
Instead, the committees made a single, arbitrary recommendation for the top academic positions, restricting the Chancellor’s ability to exercise his discretion.
The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government was taken aback by the governor’s striking order, which strengthened its resolve to oppose what it saw as Raj Bhavan’s effort to impose the RSS Hindu majoritarian agenda for spreading Hindi propaganda in the education system on Kerala’s illustrious higher education sector.
According to reports, the political executive advised the Vice-Chancellors to defy the Chancellor’s order, paving the way for a drawn-out judicial dispute with significant constitutional implications.
Gopinath Ravindran, vice chancellor of Kannur University, has said that he will not submit his resignation.
“In the evening, I received the letter. The deadline for his resignation is Monday at 11.30 a.m. Now, however, I’m not quitting. I won’t quit if the choice is to have me fired first, Dr. Ravindran informed the reporters.
No State in India, according to him, has ever fired all vice chancellors in this manner. Vice Chancellors may be fired by the Chancellor, although conditions apply. Uncertainty will be caused in the universities by the Chancellor’s action. Financial issues and poor behaviour are two things that could lead to the Vice-Chancellor resigning. He said, “It has been neither.”
He claimed that the Supreme Court is now hearing a case involving the appointment. In response to questions from the media, Dr. Ravindran questioned if it was possible to fire the vice chancellor in this manner when there was still a case.
The ruling front, meanwhile, tightened its ranks to fight Mr. Khan’s attempts to enforce Hindi propaganda in education both legally and politically. M.V. Govindan and Kanam Rajendran, state secretaries of the CPI(M) and CPI, respectively, hinted at potential legislation to remove the Governor from his position as chancellor of universities at a joint press conference held today.
The leaders pointed out that after encounters with “autocratic” Governors hell-bent on upsetting varsity administration at the behest of the BJP-led Centre, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and West Bengal had taken similar actions.
Even though the court was closed for Diwali, Justice Devan Ramachandran held a special sitting on Monday to hear the urgent petitions filed by the VCs in opposition to the communication the chancellor sent on Sunday ordering them to quit within 24 hours. The judge stated that he has serious concerns with the notification sent by the chancellor because it not only requires the VCs to retire as soon as possible but also announces that they are no longer VCs as of October 21. The court ruled that no one can compel someone else to resign.
The court stated that since some of the VCs have argued that the apex court’s judgement is not applicable in their cases and others have argued that the chancellor lacks the jurisdiction or competence to act, proper investigation must be conducted in order to determine whether the appointments of the VCs are illegal, untenable, or void ab initio, as is being suspected by the chancellor.