Why now? My response is let the judicial process take its course: Jamia V-C
NEW DELHI: Denying all charges of mishandling in faculty appointments in the recent past, Jamia Millia Islamia Vice-Chancellor Mushirul Hasan on Thursday said he was hurt by such allegations that surfaced just when his tenure was going to expire.
“I have made 200 appointments in the last five years. Not a single appointment until this one at A J K Mass Communication Research Centre has been contested, either at the level of University or court. Why now? My response is let the judicial process take its course. At the end of every V-C’s term, these things happen when the to-be successors begin to fish in, in my case, placid waters,” he told The Hindu.
“I know the individuals who are doing it. Nobody is doing it for academic reasons. The office of V-C should not be sullied in the manner in which it is sought to be done by a small group. There are, may be, few voices of discontent. But I have never had any trouble with anyone at all,” Prof. Hasan asserted.
According to the V-C, the candidate who applied for a teaching position at MCRC (that sparked off the controversy) was only given an “offer letter” and not an “appointment letter”.
“Certain irregularities were brought to my notice by the experts. So we thought let us examine it before we place his appointment before the selection committee. The appointment letter was not issued. I asked a judge to conduct the inquiry (to look into the allegations made against the recommendations of the selection committee),” he said.
“I feel sad that I am dragged into the controversy because I am not involved in this appointment. As the head of the institution, I am only trying to uphold the principle of probity. I was not physically present in the selection committee. If the inquiry says that this appointment is fine, the man will get in. The vacancy has been kept on hold pending the inquiry,” Prof. Hasan explained.
The controversy intensified further after the removal of Registrar Anisur Rehman, a relative of the aggrieved applicant for the MCRC position. “I suggested to the Registrar that he should go on leave because he has access to all the records. He agreed. But without a Registrar you can’t have the administrative functioning. The best thing was to bring back a former Registrar. It was not directed against the Registrar,” he clarified.
Prof. Hasan also said that raising a controversy on the naming of the History Department after his father Mohibbul Hasan was “very disconcerting”: “My father was the founder professor of the History Department. He was the first ever professor to be appointed in Jamia. We have a long tradition of naming the buildings after both living and the dead. People should not stoop to hit below the belt. This is all orchestrated. The Department was named four years ago, why is it being discussed now?” he asked.
Prof. Hasan said those elements who were trying to tarnish his image were “paper tigers”. “Apart from that, it has been a smooth affair. One has earned a lot of goodwill. I have not tried to promote any agenda except uphold liberal and secular values. In my conduct, I have not played any party politics.”
The V-C said he looked back at his tenure with tremendous satisfaction. “I think Jamia has acquired not only national but international profile. Not only have the initiatives borne fruition, they are also beginning to show results, like the new dental college. We have added 6,000 students in the last five years. The extent of students’ participation in various activities is remarkable. Student amenities have improved vastly.”
Asked if he was hoping for a second term as V-C, Prof. Hasan sounded confident. “I am in the running. I don’t want to be a quitter. I don’t want to capitulate to the forces who have tried to undermine the character of this University.”