Ramachandra Guha not whole of alumni of St Stephen's: Valson Thampu on being called 'fascist'

Historian Ramachandra Guha recently called St Stephen's College principal Valson Thampu a 'fascist'.

Updated: Feb 12, 2016, 13:38 PM IST
Ramachandra Guha not whole of alumni of  St Stephen's: Valson Thampu on being called 'fascist'

New Delhi: St Stephen's College principal Valson Thampu, who has been at the centre of controversies during his tenure, has said that the premier education institution was academically overestimated.

Thampu said, “I want to say this as the Principal of this college that St Stephen's College has been grossly misrepresented, it was also much overestimated. Academically it was overestimated.”

Meanwhile, crediting himself, Thampu maintained that during his tenure he had made efforts to substitute social elitism with intellectual elitism in which he succeeded eminently.

He also slammed Ramachandra Guha called Thampu a 'fascist', he hit back at him saying, the historian would attack the college every time a progressive move was made.

Speaking exclusively to CNN-IBN, Thampu, disagreed with the interviewer saying, it was not correct to say he was at loggerheads with a majority of the college's alumni.

When asked to comment on St Stephen's alumni Guha's description of him being a 'fascist', Thampu said, “Ramchandra Guha is not the whole of the alumni of the college.”

Thampu said, in 2007 when he assumed office, Guha had written an article saying, now the prestigious St Stephen's college can be pushed into a grave as under him it was going to collapse.

Guha did this as I was bringing social justice into higher education, Thampu asserted, further saying, “the nightmare for people of privilege is social justice because the protected bastion of the rich and privileged will shrink.”

The principal of one of the most reputed institutions across the country, disapproved that the historian stood for the rights of the poor and underprivileged.

While justifying his stand, Thampu said, he has known Guha for long and had never seen him doing anything for the underprivileged in the college.

“Every time a progressive move was made he would come out of his hiding and attack the college. This is precisely the hypocrisy of the society that comes and stares you in the face,” the outgoing principal added.

Earlier, Thampu had said its alumni have no right to "gatecrash" the institution and that he will not risk the security by letting the "trespassers footloose and fancy-free" on the campus.

Thampu made these comments in the wake of a controversy after some alumni including noted Guha and Chief Economic Advisor to the government of India Arvind Subramanian were denied entry into the premises to attend a condolence meeting for a popular dhaba owner last week.

Guha had then called Thampu a “fascist”.