Vadodara: While it is quite known that the saffron group has a stranglehold on M S University (MSU), it is quite visible now in letter and spirit. If attempts to sideline those who did not fall in line with the ruling group were not enough evidence, the recent diary brought out by the university seems to be a clear indication.

Those at the helm of affairs at MSU seem to have decided to wear their ideology on their sleeve by having pictures of sages in its diary with captions stating how they were responsible for several important inventions like rockets and aeroplanes, nuclear technology, cosmology and others. It hails Maharshi Bhardwaj with the discovery of aircrafts, Sushrut as the father of cosmetic surgery, Acharya Kanad has been credited with nuclear energy, Kapil Muni as father of cosmology and others.

To its credit, the diary also has pictures of Aryabhatt, Vikram Sarabhai, Jagdish Chandra Bose, C V Raman and Shrinivas Ramanujan.

The diary is being seen as an extension of the dominance that the RSS-BJP group that has ruthlessly dominated affairs. The group ensured that divergent opinions in the university were kept at a distance. A case in point is that of Faculty of Technology and Engineering associate professor I I Pandya who has been struggling to get a promotion. The top brass of the university has quite blatantly run a campaign labelling him as Congress party’s man and a critique of the BJP.

Professor Bharat Mehta from the Faculty of Arts got a promotion after much delay as he was seen as a Leftist by the RSS-BJP group. He is still not being picked up for the post of the head of the department at the faculty.

This Sunday, the university decided to postpone a workshop scheduled on Monday on the topic ‘Reading the Margins: Politics of Caste and Social Movements in India’. It was to be conducted by social scientist and retired professor of Jawaharlal Nehru University Ghanshyam Shah. University feared unrest could take place at the workshop and decided to postpone it.

Commenting on the diary, chairman of the diary committee professor Ajay Ashtaputre from the Faculty of Performing Arts said that the idea was given by MSU syndicate member Jignesh Soni. “When an honourable syndicate members gives information, we should believe it. He is the right person to comment on the content,” said Ashtaputre.

Soni said that the contributions of Bhaskaracharya and Aryabhatt are well known. “Sushrut and Charak are taught even today in ayurved colleges. We just chose 12 such persons. This in no way hurts any sentiments. This is a part of our history and one should give respect to it. Unnecessary controversy is being raked up around the issue,” said Soni.

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