Jodhpur: University professor suspended for inviting JNU’s Nivedita Menon to a conference


Rajshri Ranawat had an inquiry instituted against her the day after the event was held.

The governing body of Jai Narain Vyas University in Jodhpur on Thursday suspended English department professor Rajshri Ranawat after she organised a conference where Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Nivedita Menon spoke and displayed an upside-down map of India on February 2. Ranawat was the director of the conference.

The RSS -linked youth organisation Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad had protested against Menon’s presence at the event and her speech. Ranawat, 39, was sent a show cause notice by the university the day after the event and had an inquiry instituted against her on February 3.

“I was asked to explain why I had invited such a controversial figure, if I had asked what she was going to say and who had approved her speech and finally, if I had introduced her as someone who is known to make ‘anti-national’ speeches,” Ranawat told She said she had simply invited Menon as a resource person and a political scientist. “I did not know anything about her being controversial,” she said.

Ranawat left the university campus, where she lives alone, on February 3 fearing for her safety as protests raged against her. She sought the university’s and later, the police’s, assistance with security on e-mail from a different city, but neither assured her that she would be safe. She did not appear before the inquiry committee.

She finally returned to Jodhpur on February 14, and received a letter the following day saying the committee had submitted its “interim report” to the university. “The syndicate [governing body] met today and I heard I have been suspended,” she said. “But I have not seen the order yet so do not know the charges.” Another committee has been instituted purportedly to decide on the punishment she is to face.



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