LUCKNOW: A day after noted historian and biographer Ramachandra Guha announced that he will not join Ahmedabad University as its faculty member due to 'circumstances beyond his control', the university denied receiving any official communication on Guha's decision. The ABVP on Friday claimed victory after hearing Guha's decision, even as AU asserted that it had no role in Mr Guha's decision.
The Ahmedabad University or AU 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 Mr Guha's appointment as his writings were "against Indian culture and traditions".
AU Registrar Bhupendra Shah said that the varsity does not act under any pressure: "Students of ABVP had come and given a memorandum to us against his (Guha) appointment as a faculty. 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."
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.— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) November 1, 2018
On Guha's decision, 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."
Guha had made the announcement through a tweet Thursday. "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," he said.
Guha did not elaborate on the circumstances which led him to take this decision.
Or, more precisely, a biographer of Gandhi cannot teach a course on Gandhi in Gandhi’s own city. https://t.co/5snAdeIXMc— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) November 2, 2018
When a Twitter user named Sushil Aaron took to Twitter to rue that "it's come to a stage that an accomplished historian of modern India can no longer teach where he wants to in the country", Guha said, "Or, more precisely, a biographer of Gandhi cannot teach a course on Gandhi in Gandhi's own city."
On October 16, the varsity had announced that Guha will join it as 'Shrenik Lalbhai Chair' Professor of Humanities and director of the Gandhi Winter School.
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.— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) November 2, 2018
Ahmedabad University is a private, non-profit university that offers under-graduate, graduate and doctoral programmes in areas including engineering, business management, science and the humanities.
Guha has penned a number of books, the latest being "Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World, 1914-1948" which have received critical acclaim.
(With inputs from PTI)