Historian Irfan Habib said the Indian History Congress (IHC) did not invite Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and it was the host institution, Kannur University, which invited him and other political leaders.
“It is the right of the host institution to invite, however, we would not have thought of him,” the historian said criticising the Governor. He was responding to the event that u nfolded during the inauguration of the 80th session of the IHC at the university .
He told The Hindu that the delegates were provoked when he started to speak about the Citizenship Amendment Act and denounced the Muslims.
“The Governor was not invited to speak on CAA and the time of IHC is not for wasting,” he said adding that the Governor had the right to speak to an audience of his own.
The historian pointed out that the Governor was going into things that were no concern to the IHC. He was asked to address the IHC and not to a political audience, he asserted.
Asked if there was a violation of the Governor’s protocol, Mr. Habib said the protocol did not govern the IHC and they had their own constitution. The members of IHC are governed by the Indian Constitution and the IHC’s, he said adding that the Governor’s protocol was false.
Mr. Habib pointed out that in the past the President, the Vice-President and other eminent people attended the congress without any protocol.
Mr. Habib was also critical of the Kerala government for posting the police at the IHC venue. The government should explain why policemen were deputed and four people were detained, he said.
Mr. Habib also accused the police of obstructing him, when they had no business to be on the podium. So he pushed them aside to speak to the local secretary. He also expressed his concern that it happened in Kerala, where the Left government was governing.