Academic Freedom Is Being Killed In Madras University
18 October, 2015
Prof. Ramu Manivannan is a passionate research scholar who really deserves the appreciation of the Tamil speaking world. He had chaired many a seminar and contributed a lot to the field of research and education. He was known especially for his prodigious publication of a book which talks about the genocidal attacks that aimed at ethnic cleansing of the Sri Lankan Tamils from Eelam. His eloquence on Tamil Eelam' tragedy attracted the attention of UN council to deliberate the gravity of the problems. It is shameful to know that such a great personality and his student supporters were targeted by the management of the Madras University.
On 5th August 2015, at the ruling of the Vice-Chancellor of the Madras University Prof. Thandavan and its Registrar Prof. P. David Jewahar removed Prof. Manivannan from the incumbent office of the Head of the Department of Politics and Public Administration.
It is clear evidence that the University management is aiming deliberately to tarnish his image and diminish his great contributions. It seems as if the University management is not able to tolerate his resolute act of disclosing the ulterior motifs of the visit of the India Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka, in addition to his objections to reveal the details of the students who staged a protest against the sale of Arrack by the government, his disclosure of the various scandals on the University campus, his insistence on a forum for students on the University campus and his countless contributions to the Tamil community's democracy and the students welfare.
We are forced to think that the actions taken by the management of the University on this brave leader were to prevent him from raising his voice against the genocide carried against Tamil Eelam in the forum of Human Rights Commission in the UN Council scheduled for September 2015.
Protesting and condemning the deliberate crippling of the democracy at the University, serious protests were carried out from 5th August in which students of Political Science of Madras University, students from other departments who have a passion for democracy and those who desire democratic education, and others have actively participated. Leaders of the political parties also registered their support to these demonstrations.
The intolerant tyrannical ‘Jaya Lalitha’ Government prompted the Vice Chancellor Thandavan to threaten students to withdraw their agitation. They have even brought Prof. Manivannan to the spot, who was then compelled to instruct the students to withdraw their agitation. In the process the management has suspended ten students.
Furthermore, it has also closed the Department of Politics and Public Administration indefinitely. Because of these acts by the management, the future of 130 students hangs in the balance. These students are prevented to enter in the hostel and the university campus site as well. Hegemonic government of Jaya also had taken steps to prevent the sordid tales of these students appearing either in print or the visual media.
It is not moral for the Tamil People and educationist to be quiet to the assassination of the democracy and dictatorship of ‘Jaya’ Government. Let all the educationalist, researchers, professors, scientists, human rights activists, cultural revivalist, advocates and producers come together with one voice codemn this attack on academic freedom.
We Urge the Government of India and Tamil Nadu to open the department of Politics and Public Administration in Madras University immediately; to re-instate Professor Ramu Manivannan as the Head of the Department of Politics; to cancel the suspension on the students immediately; to dismiss the Vice Chancellor Thandavan and Registrar P David Jawahar as they are found guilty of misuse of power, misappropriation of funds and several other scams; a probe should be ordered to enquire into all these scams! Give necessary sanction to install students forum in Madras University.
ACADEMIC DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS PROTECTION MOVEMENT FOR Prof. RAMU MANIVANNAN AND STUDENTS UNIVERISITY OF MADRAS