Thursday 31 May 2007

Message from Mr. Girish Karnad

It's scandalous

The whole episode at the MS University, Baroda is scandalous at several levels:

1) At a basic level, every citizen of India--whether an artist or not--has the right to express himself.

2) In the present case, the self-expression did not take place in public but within the private domain, and so could not hurt any outsider.

3)The artist in this case was working as a part of an academic course and the person to decide whether he or she was acting in an acceptable manner was his or her supervisor or dean or head of department or the vice-chancellor. It is to guard this tradition that universities are made autonomous bodies. And outside organs, like the police, are forbidden from entering the campus without the express permission from the head.

4) The worst culprit in the present case is the Vice-Chancellor. It is his duty to ensure the safety of his students and staff and to safeguard the smooth funcioning of the university. The VC should have thrown the police out and demanded the release of the student. What he has done in fact is completely irresponsible. Certainly, in my entire life, in my dealings with many universities, I have not seen or heard of such shocking behaviour. The VC should be asked to resign and if he doesn't, sacked for derilection of duty.

This is not a minor episode. It foreshadows developments which could endanger the very basis of our civilization. If we let this go through without opposition, only deluge will follow.

Girish Karnad
14 May 2007

4 comments:

Sweet William said...

Well it will be good if the VC resigns he seems a goon like his freind Neeraj Jain. Well I suppose this is probably the worst vice chancellor in India. Anything can happen in Gujarat as one can see and crimes and criminals probably will get minsterial seats. Vanazara and Soni are of the same fabric. Dear Mr. Karnad this is not a play but real life.

Bleeding Art said...

Put up a play to show the scene of the assault on Chandramohan and Shivaji Panniker.

Please ask the Education Minister of Gujarat to resign in the play .

Haseeb Shaikh said...

Well said Mr. Karnad. I agree with you on all the counts there. Yes, the VC should resign. Hats off to Prof. Panniker. What the Student Chandra Mohan did was his own expression which was suppoused to be analysed by the Professors at the Faculty of Fine Arts and not by any fanatics who are and will always be outsiders at the Faculty.

Samir said...

Mr. Karnad is ill-informed.

He writes

"In the present case, the self-expression did not take place in public but within the private domain, and so could not hurt any outsider."

Wrong. The whole controversy started because the Faculty of Fine Arts invited general public to exhibition of student art work.

The administration led by the VC had rightly asked Mr. Panikkar to shut down the public display. He defied the authorities on the name of freedom.

Make no mistake - freedom without responsibility is untenable.

Worst of all, both Chandramohan and Panikkar are unaplogetic, unashamed and misrepresenting their case to the artist fraternity.And likes of Karnad do not investigate details before jumping up.

Shame on yous.