In an emotional outburst, the vice-chancellor of Panjab University, Prof AK Grover, who will be retiring on July 22, lashed out at the media, the students and the faculty on the campus for “not having the guts” to stand up for him when he was accused of sexual harassment by a senior teacher of the varsity.
Grover was speaking to Hindustan Times about his tumultuous six-year term that draws to a close.
Saying that everyone knew he was innocent and it was a ploy to get rid of him when he was given his second term, he said, “I have said it in the senate. People are afraid. The press is afraid to highlight my version of the things. Does the press have guts? Press in Chandigarh has no guts.”
“Let there be a CBI inquiry on why the false accusations were hurled at me as soon as I got my second term,” he said.
The PU professor had first complained to the then chancellor, Hamid Ansari, alleging that the V-C had misbehaved with her when she had gone to his office to congratulate him on the extension of his tenure on April 15, 2015. The V-C got three years’ extension on April 14, 2015. The case remains unresolved.
“Politicians of Chandigarh have no guts. Other than Satya Pal Jain, nobody stood by me when the accusations were hurled against me,” he said.
Talking about a senate meeting where he addressed the senate on this issue and had said that whenever anyone Googles his name, it comes up as “accused” V-C, he said, “After four hours when I blasted them for 10 minutes, could anybody say anything? Is it not a shame that a false accusation is made against the V-C by a sitting syndicate member and the rest of the members keep quiet. Does it not shame anybody?”
Lashing out at students’ unions and teachers’ association, he said: “No students’ organisation stood up and said that the V-C of our university is being wrongly accused. I was also a teacher in this university for three years and a member of the same teachers’ association. No PUTA president said that the V-C is being wrongly accused.”
‘Governance reforms inevitable’
Prof Grover, who drew flak from the senate for suggesting governance reforms, remains confident that the changes will happen eventually.
“I have not moved the court. The case was initiated by the Punjab and Haryana high court chief justice, who is also an ex-officio member of the PU senate, to address the financial concerns and governance reforms in the varsity.”
Grover said the reforms are to be carried out by the Union ministry of home affairs.
“The senate cannot stop the reforms. They can only delay them. So long as society wants reforms, the court is serious about it... it cannot be left in a limbo,” he said.