Over 250 senior academics and administrators from 22 countries have signed a petition demanding the removal of Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar as Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) vice-chancellor.
Kumar who was appointed vice-chancellor of the premier university in January 2016, has been under scrutiny for some controversial decisions taken by him. The latest being the violence which broke out on Sunday (January 5) when over 60-odd masked goons entered the campus and unleashed the worst violence the varsity has ever seen.
Besides academics from US, Canada, UK, Germany, Norway, France, Italy, Denmark, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Taiwan, Greece, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Brazil, Portugal and New Zealand the statement demanding Kumar’s ouster was signed by the former Archbishop of Canterbury and current Master of Magdalen College, Cambridge, Dr Rowan Williams; President of the American Anthropological Association, Professor Akhil Gupta; President, Association for Asian Studies, USA, Prof Prasenjit Duara and Professors Dame Caroline Humphries and Sir Christopher Clark, Cambridge.
The signatories alleged that the violence which took place on Sunday was politically-motivated and “violates every norm of democracy, of academic freedom, of the protection of universities from arbitrary state power, and of the duty of university administrators to protect their students and faculty. The administration of the University, and especially the vice-chancellor, Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, have lost all national and international credibility.”