Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma has called upon Gauhati University to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Professor Akhil Ranjan Dutta, alleging the professor of criticizing him over remarks made about scholar Dr. Hiren Gohain.
Controversial Comments Spark Backlash
Chief Minister Sharma has been under scrutiny for reportedly making derogatory comments about Dr. Hiren Gohain, a well-respected scholar. Professor Akhil Ranjan Dutta, a political science faculty member at Gauhati University, joined other prominent figures in condemning Sharma’s alleged offensive statements.
In response to the criticism, Chief Minister Sharma directed the Vice Chancellor of Gauhati University to initiate disciplinary actions against Professor Akhil Ranjan Dutta. Sharma argued that frequent criticisms of the chief minister by a faculty member were unacceptable, citing codes of conduct that faculty members must adhere to. He emphasized the need for limitations on the expressions of university professors and suggested applying Civil Service Conduct Rules to address such instances.
Sharma further announced plans to introduce legislation in the upcoming Assembly session to address the issue. Contrary to the Chief Minister’s stance, Gauhati University students have expressed their condemnation of his remarks against Professor Akhil Ranjan Dutta. The students refute the allegations of irregularities in Professor Dutta’s lecture deliveries and request the Chief Minister to withdraw his threatening remarks and the accusations leveled against the professor.
The controversy has sparked a broader debate on academic freedom and the extent to which faculty members can express their opinions, especially when critical of political figures. The students’ response underscores the importance of defending the autonomy of academic institutions and ensuring that faculty members can engage in constructive criticism without fear of reprisal.