The Gujarat Vidyapith campus continues to simmer over the proposal to appoint Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat as Chancellor, with nine trustees tendering their resignation on Monday.
Feathers have been ruffled at the 102-year-old institute – the Gujarat Vidyapith was founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920 – after it was announced that for the first time, Devvrat, a person with an RSS background, and not a Gandhian, will be the chancellor of the university.
Of the 22 trustees, the nine opposing Devvrat’s appointment are Narsinh Hathila, Maniben Parikh, Sudarshan Aiyengar, Kapil Shah, Michael Mazgaonkar, Chaitanya Bhatt, Neeta Hardikar, and Anamik Shah.
Those in support of Devvrat’s candidature are Vice-Chancellor Rajendra Khimani, Kanu Nayak, Ayesha Patel, Suresh Ramanuja, Vishal Bhadani, Jagdish Chandra Savalia, Jaswant Pandya, Ramesh Patel, Jagdishchandra Gothi, Arun Gandhi, Naresh Chauhan, Praveen Kumar Sharma, and Mehul Patel.
It is worth mentioning that Gandhians, and Gandhi’s kin, have always maintained the RSS’ role in the Mahatma’s assassination.
The post became vacant a few months ago when Ela Bhatt, 89, the internationally known Gandhian activist and founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association, requested the council to accept her resignation on account of her age.
A section of Gandhians has deplored the move, saying the “RSS has now gained a foothold” in the last remaining independent Vidyapith, a deemed university.