ALAPPUZHA: In the wake of the US department of education admitting that Kings University distributed D. Litt lavishly to people over the years, artists have called for a probe to bust the inter-state racket. In a fresh email, on Wednesday, the US department of education clarified that it had no mechanism to measure the quality of education offered by Kings University. "Since these schools are not accredited by a recognized accrediting agency we cannot attest to the educational quality of any educational programme offered at these institutions. We cannot comment on the quality of education offered at these institutions as we don't have a measure", the US department of education said.
Pallavi Krishnan, a leading Mohiniyattom exponent, was sharply critical of so-called universities offering such fake D.Litt that people use to objectify art. "The concerned authorities must intervene and should carry out a thorough probe to unravel the truth. I was flooded with a flurry of responses after I shared it on social media. People want a probe", she said. Anisha Rajesh, a Ph.D candidate in Dance at Texas Woman's University (TWU), pointed out that these kindof fake D.Litt degrees belittled years of hard work and dedication of maestros in their fields.
"Securing such readymade doctorates, these people create a false narrative that would be dangerous to a healthy society. I have seen Mohiniyattam dancers (Sunanada Nair and Jayaprabha Menon) use these fake degrees and start using 'Dr' as a badge of honour and get awards. These fake degrees are very likely going to pave the way to a Padmashri as well. If we let it happen, what kind message are future generations going to get?", she says.
K.G. Paulose, former Vice-Chancellor of Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University for Art and Culture, who had been conferred an honorary doctorate by the Rashtriya Sanskrit University, Vachaspathi, in 2009, says honouring people having fake doctorates and degrees is nothing but "outright mocking of real artists who spent years of their life in the field. He said, "Most people tag such fake doctorates for the sake of their vanity and their penchant for awards. Giving awards to people based on fake information by institutions like Kalamandalam will only help to set a bad precedent. If such incidents happened, it should be probed', he said.
Mani G. Marar, a practicing lawyer at the Kerala High Court and a Mohiniyattom enthusiast, pointed out that it was high time for the University Grants Commission to act. "The issue came to my notice as a tainted artist who was even censured by the High Court for malpractices, got a D.Littt from the same university and he organized a big felicitation programme in Palakkad inviting local MP and MLA. I am planning to file a Public Interest Litigation in the High Court and the issue will be fought in the court of law to end this unhealthy practice", he told DC.