The appointment of prominent scholar-activist, Madhu Kishwar to the Academic Council (AC) to represent the Jawaharlal Nehru Univeristy’s (JNU) School of Arts & Aesthetics (SAA), has sparked quite a controversy. Professor Kishwar has been nominated by JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar as an outside expert for two years.
However, according to the faculty members, they sent names of six experts to the Vice Chancellor, as is the custom. Kishwar’s name was not in the list. None of the given names were considered and Kishwar was nominated. “We are very confused and bewildered why these names were rejected and somebody who has no connection with our discipline was selected. It has never happened before in the 17 years of this school’s existence,” SAA Dean Professor Bishnupriya Dutt told The Indian Express.
When ScoopWhoop News contacted Madhu Kishwar, who is known to be a pro-Modi scholar, she brushed it aside as a “non issue”.
“The Academic Council hardly meets three times in a year. It is not that I have been appointed as the President or the Vice-Chancellor and I will interfere in the day-to-day activities of the university,” she told ScoopWhoop News.
“Leftists have a problem with everything. They feel threatened whenever their monopoly is challenged,” she added.
She also explained how no one raised a controversy when she was appointed a professor during UPA rule. “I was quite well known even before Narendra Modi became popular. No one had any problem then,” she said.
She even tweeted about it:
Such furore over #MadhuKishwar appointment as JNU AC member as tho I’ve been nominated President of India! This is not even a power position— MadhuPurnima Kishwar (@madhukishwar) May 9, 2017
Professor Kishwar also talked about how this whole controversy has gone political and is belittling her academic contributions.
“I am not some random subziwaali or a property dealer. I am an academic and a social activist with respectable body of work. I have made many documentaries for Doordarshan. If they are not okay with Madhu Kishwar, then who do they want -Bal Thackeray?” she questioned.
But Hrishikesh Arvikar, a second year PhD student at SAA had something slightly different to say. He said that the issue isn’t exactly about the person but the procedure of appointment.
“No one is questioning Madhu Kishwar’s credentials. She is a well-known academic. She founded Manushi. The concern is only about the procedure through which she was appointed,” he told ScoopWhoop News.