‘Sad, Not Surprised’: Profs Blame Govt for Pratap B Mehta’s Exit

PB Mehta resigned from AU after it was made “abundantly clear” that he had become a “political liability”.

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Amid growing disquiet over the resignation of notable political scholar and critic, Pratap Bhanu Mehta from Ashoka University – who in his parting letter spoke of having become a ‘political liability’ – The Quint spoke to professors and students across varsities, most of whom expressed regret, but little surprise at the move.

They said that the developments at Ashoka were preceded by the silencing of academic voices in other public institutions and it was now the turn of private varsities.

  • Delhi University Professor Satish Deshpande said that “Professor Mehta isn’t an andolanjeevi, leftist or an urban naxal,” and yet, the government was intolerant of his views. Deshpande asserted that these happenings only prove that “we are living in a dictatorship.”
  • Apoorvanand, a colleague of Deshpande, said that he was “saddened, but not surprised by Mehta’s exit.” He added that Ashoka was founded by capitalists, who have never attempted to protect freedom of thought.
  • Gaurav Shetty, a student of Ambedkar University, Delhi said that it would be a mistake to think that other university spaces would now face the same plight as of Ashoka’s. “The oppression starts from public universities, not from Ashoka,” he said.

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