Ahmedabad: Indian historian and writer Ramchandra Guha on Friday withdrew his decision to join the Ahmedabad University (AU) as the Shrenik Lalbhai Chair Professor of Humanities. Guha declared his decision in a tweet on Thursday morning which claimed that he was under pressure to not join AU and the reasons were beyond his control. The decision came a few weeks ago after the varsity declared Guha’s appointment as the Shrenik Lalbhai Chair Professor of Humanities and director of the Gandhi Winter School at the School of Arts and Sciences at the university. Also Read - FM Sitharaman Slams Historian Ramchandra Guha, Says ‘Economy Very Much in Safe Hands’
If appointed, Guha would have replaced the current chair professor Howard Spodek. Howard Spodek teaches history, geography and urban studies at Temple University. The tweet by Ramchandra Guha was a shock to the entire academic circle. In the tweet, Guha conveyed his wishes to AU and concluded by saying, “…And may the spirit of Gandhi one day come alive once more in his native Gujarat.” Also Read - Kangana Ranaut, Prasoon Joshi And 60 Other Celebrities Hit Back in Defence of Government After Letter to PM on Lynchings
A report by Times of India quoted a senior faculty at AU as saying, “What we have learnt is that he (Ramchandra Guha) may postpone his upcoming Ahmedabad visit in December to February or first week of March.” Guha was present during the 63rd Convocation ceremony held at Gujarat Vidyapith in 2016.
Guha received a formal notice of his appointment at the University on October 16. According to a report, an earlier statement issued said, “Guha will help imagine a curriculum that lies at the intersection of history and other streams in the Humanities, as well as explore how history can enrich diverse disciplines, spanning technology, business and even specialisations such as life-sciences, heritage management or environment and energy.”
Guha was expected to join as the faculty of Ahmedabad University on January 1, 2019. Guha was impressed by the interdisciplinary approach and visionary leadership of the University. A report by The News Minute quoted Guha as saying, “I have known and loved Ahmedabad ever since my first visit there 40 years ago; to now return, to teach and work in the city where Mahatma Gandhi made his home and nurtured the freedom movement, excites me beyond measure.”
However, three days after the announcement of Guha’s appointment, a memorandum was submitted by the ABVP which claimed that Guha was a “communist” capable of stirring anti-national sentiments.