Resist bid to impose ‘one thought’ in country: Chidambaram

Cong. leader cites resignations of Mehta, Arvind Subramanian as professors of Ashoka University

Questioning the resignations of Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Arvind Subramanian as professors of Ashoka University, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday called upon people to resist the attempt to impose “one thought” in the country.

In a series of tweets, Mr. Chidambaram said ‘BJP thought’ or ‘Modi thought’ would wreck the country and turn India into an autocracy.

In a separate statement, former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar claimed that the episode showed democracy was “hollowed out.”

“What does it say of academic freedom in this country if two distinguished economists have to resign as professors of Ashoka University,” asked Mr. Chidambaram on Twitter.

“The people of India must rise to fiercely resist the attempt to impose one thought all over the country. ‘BJP Thought’ or ‘Modi Thought’ will wreck the country and turn India into an autocracy,” he added.

“We have been rudely reminded that freedom of thought even in the most liberal of academic institutions is welcome only as long as it is not a “political liability” — a contradiction in terms. The trustees of the premier educational institution are clearly the principal villains, in not standing up to those who wanted Mehta to pay the price for his intellectual integrity,” Mr. Kumar said.

Faculty members and students of the Ashoka University in Sonipat have expressed concern over the manner Mr. Mehta resigned as a professor, alleging that the noted public intellectual paid a price for his critique of the Narendra Modi government.

In protest, former Chief Economic Adviser and eminent economist Arvind Subramanian also resigned as a professor of the university on Thursday.

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