PUDUCHERRY: The Pondicherry Central University administration has relieved Dean of Students’ Welfare Dr P Moorthy from the position following the controversies over the annual magazine ‘Widerstand’ brought out by the University Students’ Council. Moorthy was the Chief editor of the magazine which carried certain articles which led to widespread protest.
An order issued by Dr Ramachandran, Registrar (in-charge), stated that Moorthy, Department of Politics and International Studies, was relieved from the position of Dean of Students Welfare.
Dr Rajeshwari Seshadri, Assistant Dean, Students Welfare would take over the students welfare dean’s duties with immediate effect.
The Pondicherry University Students’ Council had brought out its annual magazine ‘Widerstand’ (German for resistance). It was released by the Dean of Students’ Welfare Prakash Babu, Hyderabad Central University, in the presence of Pondicherry University Vice-Chancellor (in-charge) Dr Anisha Basheer Khan, Dean of Students’ Welfare, P Moorthy and students council members last week.
The wide circulation of the magazine led to protests from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the BJP who burnt copies of the magazine, citing ‘anti national’ articles in it and demanded the removal of the Dean. They claimed that it had anti-Brahmin, anti-RSS articles critical of the Union government, articles on Rohit Vemula and the JNU issue.
The student council, on the other hand stated that the magazine aimed to uphold the freedom of speech and the contents were on the current educational system of our nation. It stood for the students’ movements in campuses and movements against the ‘saffronisation’ of education.
However this led to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) seeking explanation from the central university.
The administration issued showcause notice to the dean of the students welfare in his capacity as the editor of the magazine seeking explanation from him on how the ‘sensitive’ articles got published in the magazine. “He should have vetted the articles and should not have allowed the publishing of the sensitive articles”, said the Registrar of the University, M Ramachandran.
An appraisal report was sent to the MHRD explaining the action taken and the stand of the students.