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No one is asking the right questions about Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s ouster from Ashoka University

We pick soft targets, we discuss inanities, but do not talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s resignation.

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Our collective reaction to Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s ouster from Ashoka University is disappointing for more than one reason. A short-lived outrage in a small circle seems to have given way to a quiet acquiescence. Professor Arvind Subramanian’s response was exemplary in its timing and messaging, not the least because he cannot be dubbed as anti-government. The statements by the faculty and the student body at Ashoka showed more courage than you would expect in a private university. Add to that statements by academics based abroad and a few editorials, and that’s all we have by way of response to this defining moment in the shrinking academic space in India. The contrast with the nation-wide reaction to attempts to silence lawyer Prashant Bhushan tells a story. It is hard to avoid the impression that envy may have diluted our moral sensibility. Apparently, a famous academic, an elite private university and its rich patrons do not stir our public conscience.

Even more disappointing is the nature of our response. It is a sign of the times we live in that we ask every question except the one that needs to be asked. We ask tough and valid questions of the Ashoka University founders and trustees, but with an emphasis that seems misplaced. We ask questions about the elite nature of Ashoka University, its faculty and students, without appreciating that these are beside the point in this instance. This occasion has been used by some to take potshots at Pratap Mehta as a public intellectual. All these leave us with little energy to pose a question to those who orchestrated it all, those who arm-twisted the university, those who cannot take any expression of dissent. The one-who-cannot-be-named remains untouched.

Also read: ‘Grievous blow to free speech’ — Raghuram Rajan on Pratap Mehta’s exit from Ashoka University

What Pratap’s writings did

Let us begin by asking a simple question: Why is this government so nervous about a highbrow political scientist? After all, Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes only in English, much to the disappointment of friends like me. He does not appear on TV despite incessant requests. And he keeps away from any political party, movement or ground action of any kind. So, why should the government bother about him? It can’t be just the erudition and scholarship that backs his intellectual criticism of the ruling ideology. His writings cover an astonishingly vast range of fields: moral philosophy, jurisprudence, political institutions, foreign policy, national security and political economy, to name a few. He is among the few Indian intellectuals who have learnt something, other than accent and mannerism, from their stint at elite universities abroad while retaining cultural self-confidence. His intellectual fearlessness is not reserved for this government. He has the courage to question his dear friends, publicly. His views on caste and reservations annoy most of my friends. He and I have publicly disagreed on this. But I see his willingness to take a position on this issue as a mark of his intellectual courage. But, to be fair to the ruling dispensation, it simply does not have the intellectual equipment to be perturbed by these qualities of Pratap Mehta.

The heart of the matter is his criticism of the policies, politics and the personality of the current government, including that of the Supreme Leader. He is not one of those virulent and nagging Narendra Modi-critics who are a pain in the neck every morning. Pratap is sharp but subtle. He questions their ideology, but you cannot put him in an ideological box. He chronicles the decline and fall of our institutions without falling back on ready-made descriptions. He takes apart the Modi government’s nationalist claims by clinically examining issues of national security. And Pratap exposes the Prime Minister, after giving him maximum benefit of doubt, not just for his ideology, but for his sheer incompetence. That must hurt. Pratap Mehta is not one of those deracinated Left-secular critics the Modi government would not mind. He understands, decodes and lays bare the architecture of New India. He is a serious challenge to the hidden hand that shapes the policies and politics today. Hence the need to silence him.

Also read: My writing is perceived to carry risks for Ashoka University: PB Mehta in resignation letter

In a private university

This relates to the question about the institution: Why should we be bothered about the happenings inside a private university? This incident has triggered many dissents that have interrogated the ‘liberal’ self-image of the university. There is no doubt about its elite character, and not just in intellectual terms. Most of these private universities are sites of caste and class privilege. Middle-class parents would have to dip into their life savings to afford this education. (Disclosure: the author belongs to this category of parents.) No doubt the impressive faculty that the university has managed to recruit is often at the cost of public universities. There is something odd about teaching liberal values, justice and fairness in such an island of power and privilege. No doubt, the university’s liberal self-image has taken a beating. Yet these critics forget that in this instance, their argument cuts the other way.

Pratap’s exit is significant precisely because it happened in an institution that did not depend upon the government for grants, precisely because it is secured by power and privilege. If such an institution cannot protect its best-known face, what would be the fate of any other academic?

Also read: Debate, fact, fiction around Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s Ashoka exit & Gen Bajwa’s signals to India

A silent acceptance

Finally, the question about the surrender by the trustees: Why did the independent and philanthropic founders of a university give in to the powers that be? We do not yet know if the trustees “crawled when asked to bend” as Ramachandra Guha put it. Maybe they just bent when asked to bend, or were ordered to crawl. We do not know whether the government used a carrot or a stick, or both, whether it was big or small. But we do know that Ashoka University draws more on genuine private philanthropy than most teaching shops that pass off as private universities in India. We also know that its founders and trustees include a wide range of new-tech entrepreneurs not beholden to any party. Logically, therefore, it must have fewer skeletons to hide and be less fearful of the government. Was this a meek surrender? Or was the pressure from the top just too much for any institution to take? We may never know the full answer. But we do know that when this set of patrons can be arm-twisted into pushing someone like Pratap Mehta to quit, the message for every other academic is loud and clear. As they say in Hindi: Tum kis khet ki mooli ho?

That is the real silence in this debate. We have flogged the messenger, perhaps rightly so, but no one speaks about the author of this message. Not because anyone is in doubt about who the author is, or about the content and the intent of this message. The reality is too familiar, frightening and boring. So, we pick soft targets, we discuss inanities, but we do not talk about the elephant in the room. That has already become furniture. We start treating the nature of political power as a fact of nature. That is how we become complicit in the suppression of our liberties.

The attempt to send a message by silencing Prashant Bhushan did not succeed. Will this attempt to send a message via Pratap Bhanu Mehta succeed? That is the question we must ask.

Yogendra Yadav is the National President of Swaraj India. Views are personal.

Edited by Neera Majumdar.

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  1. Yogendra is an opportunist. He uses such opportunities to take a potshot at the government. But that is only to be expected: After all, he can come to power only by undermining the present-day government. (It’s a different case that in his case, “Dilli door ast!”)

    Let us consider his points:
    1. BPM does not write for the masses. His points are too complex for the common man.
    So it is inconceivable that the govt considered him as a threat.
    2. There is no dearth of criticism of govt. So it is not clear how BPM was singled out for suppression.
    3. It’s all conjecture that the university buckled under govt pressure. Where are the specifics?
    4. International stars like BPM can easily continue publishing their views from abroad.
    (just like how Tarek Fatah does, against a much more rabidly violent global force)
    5. Institutional erosion was almost complete by 2014. Let’s not ascribe this to Modi/BJP.
    BPM himself has analyzed this succinctly in his book “Rethinking Public Institutions in India”.
    From the very beginning, the institutions did not have to perform or be accountable in the first place.
    And if the key postings are obtained with hefty bribes, will those people work for the institution or themselves?
    6. Yogendra was the author of the 7-point economic recovery plan, in which he suggested that
    the govt should take over all public assets to finance his grandiose plan.
    When the public was outraged at that proposal, he revised that to “let the govt manage the finances”.
    Can we trust the judgment of a person who makes such horrendous plans?
    7. In the old times, leaders like Gandhiji, Nehru, Ambedkar etc used to write prolifically to explain their views.
    They wrote about socioeconomic conditions prevailing at the time, and proposed the way ahead.
    That practice has died. Now the opposition just opposes with optics; not with solid logic.
    Take the farming laws for example: No one has explored the conflict of interest between the farmers of the states
    (PB+HY+MP farmers vs the farmers in the rest of the country);
    Also explain how implementing a full MSP regime would NOT bankrupt the govt at the center and states.
    8. Some of the charges leveled by Yogendra against the govt are historical (they took decades to develop and fester).
    Yet he blames only the present govt; and demands an instant resolution of such complex issues.
    The real aim is to create unrest in the suffering population; not to proffer a viable solution.

    To sum up, I am not convinced about any of your arguments, Mr. Yadav. Sorry!

  2. who is this Mehta and what is his contribution ? please give some information and also about this so called AU.

  3. The Jihadi Marxist take over of academia under the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has caused the destruction of rationality and fair play, Mehta is a rude, crude anti-Hindu Marxist ideologue and his departure is a good first step in the right direction.

  4. Let the founders and promoters decide whose services they need, who are we to solicit our advice. Yadav and the likes are compulsive Jivis , products of JNU , we do not need trouble makers, in fact they should be sent to China for re-education. No one is indispensable, let Mehta Sahib move on.

  5. moral of the story – do not do anything in india unless you are a crony and a member of the ruling part and associates – advisors and so on. specifically avoid states prone to voting for the supreme leader of the ruling party. unfortunate that it happened in this university – but it has been happening surreptiously in india for the last 50 years

  6. This is all a big misunderstanding. Apparently, the Panneer Butter Masala on the Ashoka Univ canteen has been very bad tasting for a while, because of a rancid batch of cottage cheese. At the last meeting of the Trustees, this bad PBM was served, and a whole group of Trustees got so mad that they laid down an ultimatum that the PBM had to go or they would pull their donations. You can see their point – they give crores and crores to Ashoka, and all for THIS lousy tasting crap?

    This ultimatum (“PBM gotta go, or else …”) came to Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s ears. He was initially quite pleasantly surprised and honoured, as he had no idea that anyone, leave alone anyone in power, had ever bothered to read his columns. But then, he figured, why not leave anyway and make a stink? This way, the next time he’s at the India Intl Ctr, he’ll be treated as a genuine star, a martyr to academic and intellectual freedom … or something. And, hopefully, they’ll have something other than bad panneer butter masala on their menu.

    Arvind Subramanian also apparently hates the Ashola Univ PBM, and this was a perfect opportunity for him to exit. Saala madraasi ko sambar aur dosa chahiye.

    Anyway, now you know the story.

    The moral is: When you go to the Ashoka Univ canteen, have the channa batoora.

  7. All the talk about the founding members, their commitment etc. is perhaps over-rated. I am not saying Ashoka is not a good university in all its forms. I have no doubt a lot of genuine and honest hard-work of all involved has gone into creating its stature. But what happened to Mr. Mehta, whose writing and talks are a breadth of fresh air, is something that happens all the time.

    An honest appreciation of the decisions taken by the founders, trustees of Ashoka or anyone in position of leadership is likely to suggest that these men and women generally by the very nature of their role, conflicting priorities find it hard to embrace all views. Depending on the person – Opposing views expressed openly against decisions taken, is viewed as “challenging authority.”

    We may be inclined to believe that a company (organization) and its internal culture has little impact on society. So long as we have democracy in our institutions rest is ok. But more and more of us work in organizations, Peter Drucker calls our Society as “Society of Organizations” and our experiences in them do shape our expectations, hopes and desires. Long story short our work shapes our views in other spheres.

    In a larger context Mr. Mehta challenged authority, which it is likely that the trustees find it difficult to appreciate in absolute in their personal ventures. The action against Mr. Mehta unfortunately is in sync with our values, the way we manage our matters. Expecting otherwise is a contradiction.

  8. Andolanjivi is the most appropriate monikar for this yogendra Yadav. Doning a gamchha around his neck, like Kejriwal always appear in an oversize half shirt he befools public, posing as a ghareeb janta. Kejriwal knew him well and purged out from party now Yadav is a rudderless boat searching out for his political rehabilitation.

    • Gurcharan Das is wrong. There is no tragedy at all. Everyone made a choice and they were free to do so. Ashish Dhawan and other trustees chose economics over principle. PB Mehta chose morality over personal gain. The irony, as Yogendra Yadav says, is that the donors to a liberal arts university forgot that the whole purpose of their donation is to encourage different viewpoints., which they themselves undermined by asking for PB Mehta’s removal. Mr. Das has decided to be pro-Modi, no matter what. Be it Kashmir, Farm protests or Ashoka, GD has made up his mind about Modi and will not change it no matter how overwhelmingly the evidence suggests that this govt. is leading us on the path of ruin. If there is any tragedy, it is that these highly educated folks refused to see the unclothed emperor that even an uneducated child can see. What use are such credentials that hamper your commons sense?

  9. Modi and BJP have a lot of money and are also in absolute authority over India , including it’s so called independent constitutional bodies , through coercion and lure ! The comment against BBM and the writer of this article YY show how Modi’s paid propagandist instantly jump to malign anyone whom they consider to be a threat to Modi’s made up false image built on lies and innuendos against one and all whom he fears , whether present or past ! Such people , who are called Bhakts or more appropriately Modi Bhakts have no incentive to use their brains , even if it may normally be pea sized !

  10. The long narrative of Mr. Mehta said nothing specific , so what questions could be asked about the ouster or was it a resignation.
    Praising the students and encouraging them the to agitate was similar to the farmers protests and the roll of their leaders, hope there will be no repeat of the violence. If the students are as good as they are claimed to be, they will realize that they are paying to learn and not fight someone else’s war.
    Involving students in faculty and the management wars is cheap and unhealthy.

  11. Yadavji please read Gurcharan Das’s take on this. He categorically says government applied no pressure. Unless you can prove otherwise you owe us an apology.

    • No one owes anyone an apology. Gurcharan Das has been brainwashed by Modi. You can’t trust that man anymore.

  12. Sir, I read an article in times of India by person who is closely associated with Ashoka university. What I understand is the founder has put in enormous amount of hard work and dedication to build it. He wants to create a world class institute. You have made so many accusations on founders of the institute without understanding. You have assumed that people who study there rich and elite. According to the article it says 50% students get scholarships.

    It takes generations to build something but takes few hours to destroy. In these time when people like you are busy associating with problem than finding solutions. Country is looking for people who can solve their problems than criticizing others of not doing.

    If Mr. PBM wants to be opinion maker and critic of the government he should have not accepted the job in the organisation which is private. Or he could have shown professionalism by separate his personal and official duties with permission of the employer. You are hired to do academic work. Donors have every right to question if the money they are giving is spent for the stated purpose. PBM has every freedom to start another institute with objective of carrying out reach on criticisng government policies and people running it. Donors who like his idea will donate and may not question him.

    As an example your donors must be contributing for criticising and opposing the govt. The day you start praising government they will stop donations. Donors also have a purpose.

  13. It’s wonder that nobody is talking about Rashmi Samant who was evicted from Oxford University by follow leftist indians for some tweets. Ithink only leftists, liberals have a freedom of expresson that too they want free run in the name of freedom of speech. If freedom of expression is same to all then why only right wing is targetted?

  14. It’s really disheartening to see how a national party like BJP is scared to death by intellectuals like P B Mehta. The public’s goodwill towards BJP will remain as long as the lame-duck Rahul Gandhi leads Congress and the opposition remains divided. But people will remember the undemocratic actions of BJP for a long time after its gone. The Indian public in general are intellectual people.

  15. The weak response is a reflection of the hollow outrage. Here is the reason.
    In a democracy intellectuals and activists should speak out. But they can’t DEMAD support. Here is a point about particular cases of “intellectuals” and “activists” cases in particular
    To be able to manage yourself, you have to ask, what are my values? This is not about ethics of which the rules are the same for everybody. Values will differ – over which you can’t put a template to decide which are good or bad. The variables in each case are too many and very different.
    Organisations like people also have values – can’t sit in judgement about the quality, in a democratic society where one is free to choose. To be effective, a person’s values must be compatible with the organisation’s values; not the same but at least compatible. Else she will not produce results giving rise to frustration. It is then better for the person to leave without rancour and much ado about nothing. Throwing stones from the outside with or without support from others does not exude quality of purpose and exhibits weakness in character.
    This cry of strangulating free speech and lack of democracy and free speech is to my mind a hoax. 130.99 crores Indians do not seem to think that there is any danger to democracy in India. This piece here and any number of such free expression of hollow indignation is published 24×7 (pun intended) all over the Indian and world media. The recent debate in parliament on the mining bill is also a reflection of democratic procedures as we the people have chosen.
    Tail piece: It is not for either parties to decide whose value system is to be valued more. Each will have its own place and people are free to choose – is that not democracy?

  16. Today YoYa is an academician, this guy has even competed with Govinda the actor in terms of changing roles.

  17. Is MEhta such a great scholar as he is being portrayed?
    I have always felt indifferent to his columns even before 2014 — too sophisticated for me maybe!

  18. This article is seriously funny! The author imagines that the government of the day wants to silence few self gloted leftists….whose sole purpose is to shout at every move of the imaginary enemy called Modi, exactly like dogs barking when the elephant is on the move. Keep it up! Early morning humor is good for the health.

  19. Why liberalism or intellectualism should be associated with leftism, Islamism and anti Hinduism? Why can’t universities have intellectuals of left, right or centrist hue? JNU is an example of being infected with ultra leftism. So, a liberal and progressive University should not be a centre of a particular ideology. These intellectuals including YY seems to be far removed from Indian masses as they elect the leader whom they criticise and hate. In electoral politics these left liberal fail miserably as public is rejecting them lock stock and barrel

  20. This is nothing but a drama of staged resignations, one following the other, to manufacture one more event to demonstrate government’s growing intolerance for criticism. As it is, the previous drama of farm protest currently out of steam (until the next build up) is not sellable, so the election machinery of opposition must create one more event in hope of denting the chances of incumbent at coming elections. In the process they have sacrificed one more sheep with the promise of resurrection and favourable petting by way of premium position at yet another parasitic institution like CPR, several of which infest the national capital and run on public money and do absolutely nothing to solve any
    real world problem.

  21. I’m surprised that in this entire discussion related to the resignation of Profs Mehta and Subramanium, no one has brought up Prof. Guha’s incident with Ahmedabad University.

  22. PBM has prized value over the mere form of a liberal democracy whose substance is being drained dry.He has brought extraordinary energy and clarity to the task,making his intellectual powers serve it.This has gained him a moral stature pusillanimous people never acquire.

  23. Why should we worry about his ouster from Ashoka University. What implicatiin it will have on our countries progress? Its ‘ZERO ‘ Its rightly suits him ” jaisi karni vaisi bhrni…”

  24. It’s much ado about naming. The matter is very simple and I don’t understand why they are creating hype. Ashoka University is a private university funded by philanthropic industrialists and businessesmen.
    The founders or trustees have all the rights to formulate policies and code of conduct for the teaching and other staff. It’s a matter between the university management and the teaching staff. If Mr PB MEHTA can’t abide by the their Rules and Regulations or the university only honorable way is to leave the university and PB MEHTA has come out by giving resignation to the post.
    Why some people are dragging BJP and Modi in every affair of private university, I failed to understand.

  25. Pratap Bhanu Mehta created no problem for government as long as he was skating on theoretical thin ice with amazing dexterity until he endorsed and backed Modi.
    Since then he has been rudely jolted out of his complacent assumption by trends that exposed the flip side of Indian liberal democracy.
    Things here are more messy and won’t fit into the ideal pattern.There was work to be done and he applied himself with stirring energy,clarity and moral passion.Evil forces are trying to use the mess to fashion their shrine and he goes hammer and tongs at it.Established academics avoid the risk but PBM takes risk.That has. enhanced
    his moral stature,which more accomplished scholars may never gain.
    Hats off to him.

  26. From asking the government to spell “liberal” to Ashoka University now! Who would have believed that just a month ago this Andolanjeevi was busy pretending to be a farmer’s leader. Obviously, that agitation and media adulation is over. So now he is busy with other things, while misguided farmers are sweating it out on Delhi border.

  27. REsignation of Mehta is drawing more attention than his views on many issues which deserved more discussion.It is only because of the fact that the absence of discssion on views of Mehta that we land in situation like this.If there were to be discussion on his views powers that be would not have been so embolding or Philanthrophists would not have caged in without being even asked to.

  28. How many hats Mr. Yadav is donning is surprising.He seems to be having his finger in every pie.
    However, rather than elaborating on circumstances of Mr. Pbhanu’s exit, we would have been more enlightened if he could tell us circumstances of he and Prashant Bhushan( he has thankfully gone silent these days) being kicked out of AAP( excuse my use of expression for want of better one).
    If Mr. Bhanu was so concerned about freedom, he should hv fought for it staying in Ashoka Univ. daring them to kick him out rather than quitely resigning.
    So is the case of A. Subramaniam, having worked wirh Govt. till the time it suited him.

  29. Frankly, it is nobody’s interest to know why PBM quit, as much as to know why he accepted the job in the first place. Like anybody else, he needed a job. On a contrary note, why are we tearing the sky to enter the black hole ?
    By a stretch of his own conviction, he has decided to keep it behind the iron wall of his conscience. He is entitled to this freedom. Let the Sphinx be Sphinx! The world will not stop spinning.

  30. Pl provide evidence Sir. You are an academician, right? What evidence do you have of govt pressuring Ashoka? If none, this article is unworthy of you. But then you and your ilk are so smug and self-righteous about the correctness of your views that you don’t care for trifles such as evidence.

    • That is a weird comment. You are looking at the act of resignation in what angle? Mr. Mehta has been critical of the government from far too long. If AU is now deciding to accept his resignation, obviously it is not on the basis of his criticism of the govt, otherwise he could have been asked to move even when he stepped down from the Chancellorship of the univ. We can obviously conjecturise situations to suit our theories, but in the light of the fact that his resignation letter contains specific mention of political machinations, the role of pressure being borne on the univ is crystal clear. Additionally, the univ going on to express it’s desire to NOT interfere is inference enough that the trustees had INDEED interfered to ensure Mr. Mehtas’s exit. It would, I presume, be only someone myopic to conclude that there is no evidence of pressure being borne on the university to ask for Mr. Mehta’s resignation.

    • Totally agree with you. PBM has this habit of ruffling g the feathers of all and sundry despite knowing that he is working for a Pvt university and he needs to be moderate in his views and expression. He deserved it. As regards Arvind Swaminathan is is concerned, he shot his own foot by resigning just to show his solidarity. In the end he is the only loser. Smugness is the right word that you have used for describing Yogendra Tadav you shud have seen his interview with BVX on Farm laws where he was totally lost.

    • It’s unfortunate that the BJP government is still not coming on hard on these anti Hindu & anti India leftists/woke pest as France or China!!

    • PBM in his resignation letter said, “My writing has become a political liability for the Ashoka University”. What more evidence do you want?

      • Aren’t you contradicting yourself. If PB Mehta was criticising government for so long, why would he be pressurised NOW. It should have happened long before. The government may certainly be pleased at the event, but their active pressure is not conclusive from this event. Most likely, the management maybe aghast at his taking hard political leanings.

    • What is the idea of building a private university if you could hold your own for a plot of land from Haryana Government (incidentally Haryana Government has its backside on fire and is being chased by angry farmers).
      Ashoka doesn’t deserve PBM or Arvind Subramanian.

    • Correct!! They are unwelcome anywhere in society & the nation!! These people destroyed the soviet union & are now well on their way to destroy USA with the help of wall streets’ corrupt monopolistic data robbers like google/facebook/Twitter!! They must not prevail!!

    • Let the stakeholders of the ‘Private University’ decide. Extreme left is essential to counter the venomous, toxic extreme right wing bigots.

  31. Candid, Incisive as always Yogendra Bhai….perhaps one of the last in the shrinking tribe of Netas and Intellectuals with a conscience

  32. China’s #CCP has exposed the left/liberal gang run by Biden in Atlanta!! Their sham democracy, lack of press freedom & human rights are for all to see!!

    Yet! Communists/congress/naxal cabal in India haven’t shifted to their mother land China! Do they fear that their lies, hypocrisy & anti national activities can only work in India, NOT China??!!

  33. PBM can continue to do what he has been doing whether he is with Ashoka or not. No one stops him and nobody ever stopped him. If as YY says, he is so sophisticated in his criticism, then no bhakta would understand it as all bhakts are dumb by definition. So Modi is not going bother about such PBMs around.

    So Ashoka or no Ashoka, PBM should continue to write and lecture us daily and we will certainly read his columns and listen to his views. It is a different story though we will end up voting for Modi, as the alternatives are far worse.

    But we need PBM as free as he can be without any strappigs of any institution. But why did AR gave up his job? Did he think there will be some enmasse movement like Award Wapasi? He is a balanced guy, one thought.

    • “He is a balanced guy, one thought.” Yes, one is only balanced as long as he keeps banging plates, lighting lamps and dancing to the tune of the ring master as in a puppet show. Arvind Subramanian can’t be spared though he was the principal economic adviser to this govt. Bhakt and logic can’t be in the same sentence.

  34. ashoka university is a private university. if university does not want him to do certain things, he must abide by it. or else quit. obviously one who pays calls the tune. mr.mehta can always express his views in other forums. for example he still writes in indian express. yogendra yadav and i cannot decide what ashoka university should do, that will be infringing on their freedom.

  35. He-who-must-not-be-named (and his side-kick) is throwing the gauntlet to the upper 10% rich and middle class Indians – keep your mouth shut, quietly go with what we tell you (even if it insults your intelligence) and maybe you will keep your jobs and businesses intact. Heck – you can even help us build a new order while we get rid of pesky democratic niceties and just mirror China in autocratic one party rule even if we can’t match them economically. Folks like leftist, academics, student leaders, independent journalists, opposition etc. are fair game for us – they will be in jail for years and years and can’t help you in any case. Cross us in any way and see what we do to your jobs, your businesses and your reputations built over the years. We control all the levers of power and no one among you can dare take us on and hope to win. The upper 10% has no stomach for a fight in any case and will make peace and retreat in a whimper – like Muslim film-stars (Pratap Bhanu Mehta even alluded to this in his resignation letter!)

    Through this episode, He-who-must-not-be-named is just giving all of us a demonstration of the dark arts which he and his minions are using and will continue to use. The message is quite simple and delivered with devastating effect. YY sounds dazed – but you must realise sir, most people in India seem to have gotten the message loud and clear. Occasionally some examples have to be presented publicly to reinforce present reality – that’s all. Your article is quite unnecessary, really!

  36. Islamic Leftism is the biggest threat to India and Hindus , Yogendra and Shekhar Guptha, pranay Roy of NDTV , Rajdeep , Burkha are Anti Hindu and sponsored by Islamic Terrorists, Hindus should be aware of these people.

    • You forgot many more names, Rana Ayub,and that so called historian from USA nadam Audrea Truschke, who glorifies Allauddin Khilji and hates Hindus.

    • Islamik Leftism? What is that? Cooking oil or bathing soap? Hindus are fine as they’ve been for centuries. You better get rid of your inferiority complex.

      • Islamic leftist is known to everyone except madrsa educated. Islamic leftists are those leftist, who proclaiming themselves to be secular, espouse the cause of most lunatic islamic fringe. As do the Indian leftists including YoYa.

  37. Yadavji,

    Here the issue is about:
    You have a different opinion. Fine
    You disagree. Fine
    You protest. Fine
    You criticise. Fine
    You try to incite the violence in the name of criticism. Not Fine

    Every person or the institution has a tolerance band which is what the founders of Ashoka University attempted.
    If the same Dr. PB Mehta was serious about all the values he cherishes, he would have first built first and waited for a robust fort of liberal values. Instead, he started digging below the very foundation at the same time construction was going on by himself (with true intent? – As Kohli keeps saying !) and the founders were constructing. Obviously, it had to fall.

    And when you try to build a castle with a pack of lies masqueraded as freedom, love, democracy, secularism etc., it is bound to fall down one or the other day.

    Moral of the story is: ‘It takes years together for the potter and just a second to destroy the pot (by non-serious and over-zealous ones)’.

    • This is nothing but a drama of staged resignations, one following the other, to manufacture one more event to demonstrate government’s growing intolerance for criticism. As it is, the previous drama of farm protest currently out of steam (until the next build up) is not sellable, so the election machinery of opposition must create one more event in hope of denting the chances of incumbent at coming elections. In the process they have sacrificed one more sheep with the promise of resurrection and favourable petting by way of premium position at yet another parasitic institution like CPR, several of which infest the national capital and run on public money and do absolutely nothing to solve any
      real world problem.

    • Loads of rhetoric with absolutely no substance, As Usual from the author
      I have watched number of interview of Mr Bhanu who has always by and large blamed congress policies and skewed liberal views in India for suggesting have created space for BJP against which he has never been able to articulate anything with facts and logics to support his prejudice for BJP
      The excitement of pseudo liberals is fundamentally to push their own agenda and thus deserves only the objective negative cognisance of their intentions

  38. I think after a certain time, autocratic leaders just hte criticism. And India is so used to geaudal autocratic leaders especially in the North of India but what India does not realise is that these people do not want questions. When was the last time Mr. Modi gave an interview to an unbiased print publication? Answer lies there.

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