Press note 12th May 2007
We, the staff members of Faculty of Fine Arts, standby Prof.Shivaji Panikkar, who has been wrongly implicated and unceremoniously suspended by the University for sincerely discharging his duty as the In-charge Dean of the Faculty that is primarily to protect the integrity academic sanctity and the over all security of the faculty fraternity, when the University authorities failed to do so.
It should be noted that we are not in position to comment on the art work in dispute as the matter is sub-judice.
As has been repeatedly reiterated, the whole incident has been completely blown out of proportion to serve a political agenda, with the faculty being implicated also by the media fraternity. We hereby appeal to the media fraternity who themselves are the torch bearers of freedom of expression to stand by us and the truth, and empower us to get justice.
We would also like to know on what legal stand the university authorities sealed the department of Art History and Aesthetics, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the incident of contention.
It may be reminded that this reputed department has earned a Grant of Rs.86 Lakhs to the University from Sir. Ratan Tata Trust, thanks to the academic excellence and efforts of the deposed Head of the Department Prof. Shivaji Panikkar.
The Faculty members are taking Mass casual leave today (12-5-07) as protest against the step-fatherly attitude of the university authorities and the undue and uncalled for suspension of Prof. Shivaji Panikkar. In this moment of crisis we all stand united and absolutely emphasize that all decisions taken were on behalf and in agreement with all of us.
All the Staff members of Faculty of Fine Arts.