New Delhi: The scheduled lecture by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha at Delhi University on September 4, has been abruptly cancelled, triggering a controversy. Jha, who also holds the position of Professor at the university, said he was “hurt” and expressed his intention to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to address the situation.
According to a report published in the National Herald, row began when Jha disclosed, “Whatever is happening is not per the rules and regulations. On August 18, I received a letter that I had to give a lecture on September 4. And today, I received an email saying that your lecture has been cancelled due to unknown reasons.”
“I am the Professor of that University. I got a letter on August 18 to take a lecture on 4th September. And this morning a letter came saying that your lecture has been cancelled. The programme has not been cancelled only my lecture is cancelled,” Jha told news agency ANI.
Jha, known for his fiery speeches in the Rajya Sabha, teaches at the Department of Social Work.
In a video message, he said, “This is my university, here I am a professor, I have studied here, and here I teach, despite this, who is getting offended? I can speak in Parliament, on the street, and write in newspapers. But I cannot address the teachers of my university. What is the fear?”
The RJD leader didn’t shy away from turning the spotlight on the ruling party, referencing the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) slogan of “Vishwaguru Bharat” (India as a world teacher). He said, “Is this how we will become Vishwaguru? By turning universities into wells?”
He further stated his intent to involve higher authorities in the matter, stating, “I will write to the Prime Minister, Education Minister and apprise them of what is happening under their nose. Such practice has to stop. We cannot see the university dying.”
The cancellation of the lecture, attributed to “unavoidable circumstances,” has added to the intense ongoing debate over autonomy of universities and the role of politicians within academic institutions.