An invitation to Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Kumar Jha to address faculty members at Delhi University (DU) has been withdrawn due to “unavoidable circumstances”, prompting a sharp response from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader.
The RJD leader is a Professor at DU’s Department of Social Work.
On August 18, DU’s Centre for Professional Development in Higher Education invited Mr Jha to address college and university teachers virtually on September 4. He was requested to be the resource person for a refresher course in social work and social sciences, according to the invitation letter issued by centre’s director Prof Geeta Singh.
Mr Jha said he has now received a mail, informing him that the lecture had been cancelled due to “some unavoidable circumstances”. This mail, too, has been sent by the centre’s director.
In a video message, Mr Jha said the reasons behind cancelling the lecture can be best explained by those who took the decision. “What I can say is that whatever is happening is in gross violation of established practice.”
“This is my university. I teach here. I have studied here and I am teaching here. I can speak in Parliament, on the street, write in newspapers. But I cannot address teachers of my university. What is the fear?” he asked.
The RJD leader took a jab at the BJP’s slogan of Vishwaguru Bharat — India as a world teacher. “Is this how we will become Vishwaguru? By turning universities into well?”
Mr Jha, known for his fiery speeches in the Upper House, said he will write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and brings this to their attention. “I will show them what is happening under their nose. If you do not approve of such actions, rein them in. We can’t see a university die.”