Ramchandra Guha, Satish Dhawan Chair at IISc and Modi bashing

Lalit Shastri

An opinion piece by Ramchandra Guha, with the title “ Why Modi And Shah Fear Young Activists” has been published by NDTV on Tuesday February 16.

Ramchandra Guha has been occupying a chair at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) under the Satish Dhawan Visiting Professor/Scientist Program funded by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Department of Space.

The article by Guha begins with a loaded statement to defend a 21 year old activist arrested and remanded to police custody by court to help the Delhi Police carry forward the investigation into the Republic Day violence and the charge of “conspiracy”. The accused in question has been accused of joining the international gang – Poetic Justice Foundation – that’s bent upon creating unrest in the country with the support of the Khalistani group, under the pretext of serving the farmers’ cause. The Delhi Police is investigating the role of Disha Ravi, Nikita Jacob and Shantanu. They were allegedly hand-in-glove with Poetic Justice Foundation and were engaged in sharing a diabolic toolkit linked with 26 January violence in Delhi. It was posted and shortly thereafter removed from twitter by the much exposed Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. A chat between Greta and Disha flashed across media, amply shows they were in cahoots.

Guha throws the poser challenging the Indian State when its doing its best to protect the Constitution, ensure law and order and maintain security by cracking down on elements that have ganged up with international forces bent upon fomenting trouble in India. He begins with a set of questions: “Why would the Indian state arrest a 21-year-old woman activist who seeks a cleaner and safer planet? Should not the country want young people to look beyond their narrow personal interests to the interests of society at large?….” these questions, Guha says, were asked of him by a friend when the news of Disha Ravi’s arrest came in.” If these questions were really asked by a friend, one can only brush them aside by saying “man is judged by the company he keeps.”

Guha is entitled to his opinion but question arises can a section of the media be allowed to become a vehicle for spreading any opinion that challenges the law enforcing agencies, Police, and the State when they are working in tandem to protect the Constitution and thereby national security, dignity of the national flag, life and property of the people and the parliamentary system of government.

Disha Ravi

Who will tell Guha the difference between democratic non-violent protest and a diaboloc toolkit aimed at spreading anarchy. If anyone follows the path of anarchy, the age and gender factor notwithstanding, the accused deserves the strictest punishment under the law. Questions being raised in the public domain by a so-called intellectual over the arrest of Disha Ravi is only an attempt to subvert the due process of law and investigation into what the Delhi Police has described as international conspiracy to destabilise the country.

It is a matter of serious concern and what needs investigation is how and on whose recommendation Guha got the Satish Dhawan chair at IISc Bangalore. It is important to know, for the sake of transparency and accountability what are Guha’s academic credentials vis a vis space research and who in IISc approved his professorship.

The Satish Dhawan chair was established in 1996 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in the field of Engineering Sciences, having relevance to Space Science & Technology. This Visiting Professorship is named after the former Director of IISc, and is the chair of the Indian Space Commission.

Under this scheme, visitors are expected to spend 1-3 months at IISc, deliver lectures, work on collaborative projects, and interact with faculty members and students at IISc.

As per the IISc website, following have currently been appointed under this scheme:

Prof. Rajesh P N Rao, University of Washington, USA
Prof. Herbert Levine, Northeastern University, USA
Prof. Sajal K Das, Missouri University of Science and Technology, USA
Prof. Arun Shukla, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, USA
Prof. Rao R Tummala, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Prof. Prasad Tetali, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Prof. Murugesu Sivapalan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Prof. Siva Athreya, ISI Bangalore
Dr. Ramachandra Guha, Bangalore
Prof. Sargur N. Srihari, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

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