MYSURU: University of Mysore (UoM) registrar Prof R Rajanna, who had trained his guns at acting vice-chancellor Prof Dayanand Mane over the latter’s visit to the University Women’s Hostel, now finds himself in the thick of a controversy.
The hostel inmates have written a letter to the governor and the acting vice-chancellor accusing Rajanna of “bad-mouthing” them in a “drunken state” and have sought action against him.
The letter, signed by over 60 hostel inmates, states that on March 10, they were staging a protest on the hostel premises against the sub-standard quality of food being served and demanding the ouster the mess contractor. The registrar, who arrived there after learning about the agitation, was drunk and spoke irresponsibly, causing embarrassment to them, the girls said in the letter.
They have also accused Rajanna of making light of their complaints over food and disrespecting them. “He said we get the kind of food that we are worth. He left the spot at 1 am without solving the problem and the students slept hungry,” the letter states.
After a week, the students were shocked to see that the same mess contractor’s tender had been renewed. When they met Rajanna regarding this at his office, he allegedly told them that they had the choice of eating the worm-infested food or forgoing it. He also threatened them with dire consequences if they came back to him again on the same issue, the letter says.
Prof Rajanna, however, denied the allegations that he went to the hostel drunk. He claimed that he went there along with Additional Commissioner of Police Umesh Shet, police inspector Ravindra, some syndicate members and also the student dean and warden. When asked about the letter, acting V-C Prof Dayanand Mane said, “There were hundreds of students and they can surely make out if he was drunk or not. Also, that was not an appropriate time to visit a ladies hostel.”
He said that when he had visited the hostel, Rajanna made an issue out of it to tarnish his image. “I visited the hostel at 8.45 am after having tea whereas Rajanna visited the place at night after having alcohol.”
Prof Dayanand Mane said he has issued a notice to Rajanna based on the complaint asking him to conduct himself properly.
However, the timing of the letter has raised questions. Though the protest was held on March 10, the letter was written only on April 20, a good 40 days later. To this, Mane said the registrar had issued notices to the parents of eight students for staging agitation. “Maybe they wrote the complaint after that,” he said.
Prof Mane and Rajanna, who are both in the race for the vice-chancellor’s post, have been involved in an ugly spat over that last few weeks. Rajanna had written a letter to Higher Education Minister Basavaraja Rayareddy accusing Mane of making night visits to the women’s hostel four times within a month and asking “inappropriate” questions to the inmates there. He had also sought Mane’s ouster.