Principal, vice-principal resign after trustees say no to Mevani event

February 13, 2019

The principal and the vice principal of HK Arts College, Ahmedabad resigned “on moral grounds” on Monday after the management cancelled an event where Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani was invited.

The annual day function was to be held on Monday. The event was cancelled after the Brahmchari Wadi trust, which governs the college, refused to provide a hall for it, allegedly after pressure from some Bharatiya Janata Party student leaders. Mevani is an alumnus of the college.

“It is clear that today’s political environment is strangulating the constitutional freedom and right to expression and speech and this is also getting support from the authorities,” principal Hemantkumar Shah said in his the resignation letter, reported The Indian Express. “It is easily understood that the decision to not allow the use of the college auditorium for today’s function was under pressure and open threatening from student leaders from a particular political party.”

“My resignation was not an attempt to be heroic or to make a statement. It is simply the only thing I felt anyone in this position must do. The trust’s decision is an attack on freedom of speech and expression in a state where the capabilities of academic persons have long been suppressed by the government, by universities and even by students… It is not just for one individual, Jignesh Mevani’s freedom, but the larger freedom of ideas, including my freedom, being curtailed,” Shah said in an article he wrote for The Wire.in.

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