The University of Madras has postponed the centenary celebration of its library that was scheduled to be held on Tuesday.
But faculty members note that the function was in fact no centenary celebration as the library is 105 years old – it was established in 1907.
Thus the lavish celebration, which was supposed to be attended by Governor, K. Rosaiah and Higher Education Minister P. Palaniappan, was actually a ‘post-centenary’ celebration, say professors and faculty members.
The timing of the celebration is also suspect considering the fact that current Vice-Chancellor G. Thiruvasagham’s tenure ends on October 12. “There was no celebration in 2007. In the years after that, the subject of a function came up on various occasions during senate and academic council meetings but no event was organised. Now, with only 17 more days left for the V-C to be relieved of his post, what was the need for a celebration to be planned all of a sudden,” asks a faculty member.
The budget allocated for the celebration and renovation is Rs 9 Lakh and is being raised.
Senior professors also said that after the librarian passed away a few years ago, no replacement had been appointed. The agenda of the event is also a sore thumb.
“They were going to release a Tamil lexicon and Sanskrit works. Why are two departments being favoured in a library function, and not the other 70, and why did the administration not think of releasing a souvenir or a commemorative work, or a photo album if it was serious about the function,” asks a senate member.
University officials said that the programme was rescheduled because of unavoidable circumstances. Some insiders say it was because the governor and the minister refused to attend the function at the last moment.
The governor’s office, when contacted, said he had to leave for New Delhi to attend a function in connection with the 150th anniversary of Motilal Nehru’s birth.