Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit's apathy to scholar irks academics

Dalit activists and students of Pradeepan have decided to bring up the matter before the Chancellor.

Kozhikode: Dalit figures, academicians and former students have flayed the disregard allegedly shown by the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit towards Dr Pradeepan Pambirikunnu, noted Dalit cultural critic and writer, who died in a mishap on December 8. The complaint is that when Pradeepan’s body was placed to pay homage the next day, the University had a festive air at its Payyannur Campus where a National seminar on ‘Poorakkali’ was going on. “It is nothing but Dalit atrocity on the part of the University. Prevention of Atrocities Act should be slapped against the officials,” said Dalit writer K.K Kochu.

He said that it was the University’s duty to postpone the programme as a mark of respect to Pradeepan, Malayalam reader at the University’s Koyilandy centre. “The University’s action was gross injustice towards Pradeepan’s writing and his community,” says Dr O.K Santhosh, Malayalam Assistant Professor at Madras University. Dr. M.B Manoj, poet and Assistant Professor at Calicut University, said that the University could have put off the day’s programme. Dalit activists and students of Pradeepan have decided to bring up the matter before the Chancellor.

“Prominent figures like Kancha Ilaiah, Swami Agnivesh, K.S Bhagavan, Arundhati Roy, Kanhaiya Kumar should be roped in to expose the University. Pradeepan was the one who resigned his Kendra Sahitya Academy membership in the wake of the Kalburgi murder. Such a person being insulted by the Varsity is the biggest offence,” said Pradeepan’s student and former Union Chairman of the Varsity Kalady College, Biju K.P.

Meanwhile, University Payyannur Campus Director Dr E. Shreedharan told DC that the three-day seminar was conducted by the National Manuscript Mission. “The programme was held on the concluding day as per the instruction of higher-ups. We organised a condolence meeting in the morning and the valedictory was cut short. The allegation that ‘Payasam’ was distributed is false. As there were delegates from out of Kerala, we were not in a position to postpone the event,” he elaborated.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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