Eminent historian Romila Thapar recently rejected orders of administration of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to submit her curriculum vitae. Jun asked for her CV as they want to review her position as Professor Emerita. Instead, she wrote to the administration explaining what her status actually means.
“No, I don’t intend to send them my CV. They have contradicted themselves in the letter they sent to me. When the status was originally conferred, it was stated that this was a lifetime honor. They are going back on that, negating what they originally wrote. They have changed the rules and are applying them retrospectively,” she said, in an interview on Wednesday.
This whole incident started on July 12 when JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar asked Professor Thapar via a letter to provide her latest CV by August 16 so that a committee appointed by the University’s Academic Council could “assess her work and decide on her continuation as Professor Emeritus.” 11 other Professors Emeritus, all of them distinguished scholars in their respective fields were sent a similar type of letters by the university.
She is one of the prominent names in the world of historians as she has been awarded the Kluge Prize, known as the American Nobel. She also holds honorary doctorates from six of the world’s top universities and has also written a number of books on ancient India, which are studied by students of all the generations.
Even at the age of 87, she is actively taking part in research, teaching, and writing and was preparing for a workshop when JNU decided to disrespect her years of work. The academic world has been outraged at her treatment by JNU.
“I sent them a letter explaining what was meant by a Professor Emeritus, for if they knew what it meant they would not be demanding my CV to re-evaluate my status,” said Professor Thapar. “The university has not yet responded to me.”