Thursday, January 22, 2015

J.V. ... A YEAR HAS PASSED ............

14.1.2015 – a year has gone since the demise of Prof. J. Vasanthan. He has left to us so much of his artistic wealth, mainly lovely and live line drawings.  The treasure cove was so high, nearly 2500 drawings. Of these 70 drawings were kept in an  art gallery for a weak, from 9th to 14th of January for the Madurites to see and enjoy. I have got some of them as photos and given in this post for you to enjoy.

In addition to the gallery, there was a meeting to refresh his memories in the evening of 14th at the Chamber of Commerce. 

A documentary on JV was at the end of this meet. It remains still a mystery why JV never even tried to popularise all his talents and works. Many of his art pieces, both his drawings and writings were so new to all.

Ashraf Bhagat, an art critic was able to recognize and appreciate JV’s art. Some excerpts from her note:

‘Works of JV are more than just lines.’

‘As a film critic he had prolifically critiqued cinemas in India and the West.’

‘ …. those layers of emotions that were stashed away deep within his subconscious never to be verbalized found a catharsis in his art particularly in the rendering of the countenances of ordinary being whom he encountered in his daily life.’

‘Vasanthan in his wide ranging cartoons, illustrations, and caricatures brilliantly captured the emotions and feelings, contextualizing within the political, social and cultural milieu in which they were situated.’


‘His delineation of faces whether it was of Christ, an old man or a poor farmer was enormously evocative and poignant, with eyes expressing deep pain and sorrow – an inevitable ubiquity read across most of his works.’

‘The pen and ink sketch of Gandhiji with his head bent over the walking stick is almost personalized and very poignant. …  This particular posturing evolved by Vasanthan conceals and reveals the magnitude of emotions in the body language.’



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I am fortunate to have three of his drawings with me. The one I have given here is the laminated picture of my elder daughter, drawn more than  35 years ago, always proudly reminding me of my good fortune for being a good friend of him for so long …………




Friday, August 22, 2014





The Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday ordered notice to The American College Principal M. Davamani Christober in a quo warranto writ petition questioning the authority under which he was holding this post.

The petitioner, D.Samuel Lawrence, claimed that Mr. Christober was not qualified to be the Principal.


அமெரிக்கன் கல்லூரி முதல்வருக்கு 

எதிராக வழக்கு

மதுரை அமெரிக்கன் கல்லூரி முதல்வரை பதவி நீக்கம் செய்யக் கோரிய வழக்கில் உயர் கல்விச் செயலர் மற்றும் அதிகாரிகளுக்கு நோட்டீஸ் அனுப்ப உயர் நீதி மன்றம் உத்தரவிட்டது.

மதுரை திருப்பாலையைச் சேர்ந்த டி.சாமுவேல் லாரன்ஸ், உயர் நீதி மன்ற மதுரைக் கிளையில் தாக்கல் செய்த மனு:

மதுரை அமெரிக்கன் கல்லூரி முதல்வர் எம். தவமணி கிறிஸ்டோபருக்கு, பல்கலைக் கழக மானியக் குழு விதிப்படி கல்லூரி முதல்வராக பணியாற்ற தகுதியில்லை. அவர் கல்லூரி முதல்வராக நியமனம் செயல்படுவதற்குரிய கல்வித் தகுதி, அனுபவம் பெறவில்லை. தவமணி கிறிஸ்டோபரை முதல்வராக நியமனம் செய்ததை செல்லாது என அறிவிக்க வேண்டும். அவர் முதல்வராக செயல்பட தடை விதிக்க வேண்டும். கல்லூரியில் பணிபுரியும் ஆசிரியர்கள், ஆசிரியர்கள் அல்லாத பணியாளர்களுக்கு கல்லூரி கல்வி இணை இயக்குனர் நேரடியாக சம்பளம் வழங்கவும் உத்தரவிட வேண்டும். இவ்வாறு மனுவில் கூறப்பட்டிருந்தது. 

இந்த மனு நீதிபதி கே.கே. சசிதரன் முன் விசாரணைக்கு வந்தது. மனுவிற்குப் பதிலளிக்க உயர் கல்விச் செயலர் உள்ளிட்ட அதிகாரிகளுக்கு நோட்டீஸ் அனுப்ப நீதிபதி உத்தரவிட்டார்.

தி இந்து, ஆக 24


Sunday, July 13, 2014

7 MKU Syndicate members to quit from committees


7 MKU Syndicate members to quit from committees

Seven Syndicate members of Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) here on Sunday decided to resign from various sub-committees formed by Vice-Chancellor Kalyani Mathivanan. They will hand over their resignations in the VC office on Monday.

Their decision comes in the wake of the Vice-Chancellor on Saturday removing Syndicate member M. Rajarajan from all sub-committees as he openly questioned certain incidents on the varsity campus.
The tussle between the Vice-Chancellor and the Syndicate members now looks to become a full-fledged battle.

There has been uneasy calm on the university campus ever since the Madras High Court Bench had set aside the Vice-Chancellor’s appointment on June 26 which was subsequently stayed by the Supreme Court for a period of six weeks.

“We have prepared our resignation letters to step down from the sub-committees. The next course of action will be decided in a couple of days,” Dr. Rajarajan told The Hindu on Sunday after a meeting with his Syndicate colleagues.

The university has several sub-committees comprising Syndicate members to deal with issues relating to appointments, establishment, research, hostels, finance and disciplinary action among other things.
Dr. Rajarajan said he received a registered post and an e-mail from the Vice-Chancellor informing him that he was relieved of the responsibilities as member of sub-committees.

“The happenings in the university in the past two weeks are causing a lot of concern. I was removed form the committees as I aired by opinion publicly and differed with the Vice-Chancellor,” he added.
Syndicate members who are stepping down from the university committees are Dr. Rajarajan, R. Kannan, V. Venkataraman, K. Selvakumar, Murali Pakshirajan, K. Pitchumani and P. Periakaruppan.
“In the last one week, there was no communication between us and the Vice-Chancellor. We are hoping that the Governor will intervene. It is sad that Dr. Kalyani Mathivanan is being ill-advised by the coterie around her,” two senior Syndicate members lamented.

They also regretted that unilateral decisions were taken in the absence of Syndicate members.

Complaint to NHRC about Kalyani Mathivanan’s “victory rally”


Complaint to NHRC about Kalyani Mathivanan’s “victory rally”

A complaint has been made to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) about the Madurai Kamaraj University for making school children wait in scorching heat to shower flower petals on Vice-Chancellor Kalyani Mathivanan, when she arrived on the campus on July 7 after obtaining an interim stay in Supreme Court of the order quashing her appointment as Vice-Chancellor.

Changeindia, an organisation working for equity and rule of law, has urged the NHRC to enquire into this “brazen incident” which put tender children to torture by forcing them to participate in the celebration which resembled an election victory rally.

“The administration of MKU and her supporters organised a reception on July 7 from Madurai airport to the university when the Vice-Chancellor returned after obtaining an interim stay in Supreme Court. A large number of young children of MKU Nursery and Primary School were brought and made to wait on both sides of the road inside the varsity campus under scorching sun to shower flower petals on her. This is nothing but gross cruelty,” A. Narayanan, Director, Changeindia, Chennai, said in his complaint.
He observed that the school management was also guilty of allowing children to be taken away during school hours on Monday to an unrelated event and that too without the permission of parents. The complaint appealed to the NHRC to take up the matter with the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary, School Education, to ensure prompt action on those who violated child rights. Mr. Narayanan had enclosed the video of “victory celebration” and newspaper clippings citing them as prima facie evidence.

Seven Syndicate members of MKU appeal to Governor


“Ensure Kalyani Mathivanan does not take policy decisions”


Seven Syndicate members of MKU appeal to Governor

Seven Syndicate members of Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) here have urged Governor K. Rosaiah to ensure that Vice-Chancellor Kalyani Mathivanan does not take policy decisions till the Supreme Court disposes of her appeal against the Madras High Court order which set aside her appointment.
In a joint letter to the Governor-Chancellor, they said that the VC should be made to look after only day-to-day administration and not take long-term decisions such as appointments or nominations.
“She should not be allowed to convene the Syndicate meeting also. The situation in MKU needs the intervention of the Governor to prevent further complications in the university,” they pleaded.
The signatories were R. Kannan, M. Rajarajan, V. Venkataraman, K. Selvakumar, Murali Pakshirajan, K. Pitchumani and P. Periakaruppan.

“The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on June 26 passed orders on a writ of quo warranto against the appointment of Dr. Kalyani Mathivanan as MKU Vice-Chancellor. Her appointment was set aside since she had falsely projected herself as professor and head when she was actually only an associate professor and head. Later, she went on appeal to the Supreme Court and obtained interim stay,” the Syndicate members said.

They brought to the notice of the Governor that Dr. Kalyani Mathivanan, after getting an interim stay from the Supreme Court, reoccupied the office of Vice-Chancellor on July 7 with much fanfare and negative publicity, which was unbecoming of an academic head.

“In the event of the stay being vacated, then de jure the appointment would not be valid from June 26. To avoid legal complications, she should not be allowed to convene the Syndicate meeting or take policy decisions till the Civil Appeal (CA No.5496, 5497 of 2014) she has preferred is finally disposed of by the Supreme Court,” they said in the letter dated July 9.

Dr. Rajarajan told The Hindu on Saturday that all the seven members were united in their stand to save the university and firm that the VC should not bypass the Syndicate and take decisions, especially on matters of appointment. He objected to the VC’s decision to nominate two persons of her choice as Syndicate members and also issue appointment letters to associate professors and assistant professors.
The Madurai Kamaraj University Faculty Association (MUFA) too shot off a letter to the Governor on Friday requesting him to set aside the nomination made by the VC during the six-week interim stay period.

Friday, July 11, 2014

HOW ON EARTH .............!




How on earth can a Vice-chancellor, who is supposed to be a role-model for the academic community of a university, who is expected to preserve and protect its noble traditions and take it on to greater heights of glory, could descend to such despicable levels of depravity as witnessed in the self-made 'rousing reception' to her on her triumphant re-entry into the campus on getting an interim stay in the case related to her eligibility for the post of Vice-chancellor. She has proved to be a politician par excellence in her vulgar display of power and position, what with a convoy of vehicles following her, innocent and helpless school girls made to stand in the scorching sun for a long time, that too during the class hours, just to shower petals on her and some priests dutifully welcoming with temple honours and to top it all, the ruling AIADMK functionaries and supporters shouting slogans and she gladly obliging them cutting a cake with an emblem of the ruling party.

Alas, the statue of Kamaraj,on the hallowed campus, had to stand as a mute witness to this shameless vulgar exhibition of sycophancy of the worst order.He would have definitely turned in his grave at the atrocities done in the name of the University bearing his name.

It is an open secret that nowadays, the appointment of vice-chancellors is done purely on the basis of political considerations coupled with the candidate/s' ability to pay the money demanded. No wonder, almost all the universities in Tamilnadu have become centres of corruption and maladministration with no importance given to the educational standards.

Gone are the days when the vice-chancellors were men/women of scholarship, vision and integrity. But, today, the Government doesn't want such people because they will not dance to their tune. Otherwise, how would we explain the total indifferent silence on the part of the authorities concerned like, the Governor-Chancellor, the Chief-Minister, Education Minister, Education Secretary to the atrocious behaviour of the MKU V.C. who has thrown all norms of an educationist by openly identifying herself with members of the ruling party and reduced the university to a laughing stock

A vice-chancellor boldly proclaiming her political identity and revelling in rousing receptions like this, organised by her sycophants would do well to politely withdraw from the scene and become a full time politician.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Syndicate members revolt


Syndicate members revolt against Kalyani Mathivanan


Plan to meet Governor, Higher Education Minister, Secretary

Within 48 hours of Kalyani Mathivanan returning to the Vice-Chancellor’s chamber after obtaining an interim stay of the Madras High Court order removing her from office in Supreme Court, seven senior Syndicate members of Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) have declared revolt against her “to protect the institution.”

Putting up a united front, the Syndicate members decided to boycott Dr. Kalyani Mathivanan and her meetings till the Governor’s office and State government intervened “to save the university’s image, academic ambience and reputation.”

The university has been in a state of uncertainty ever since the Madras High Court set aside her appointment on June 26.

Dr. Mathivanan later approached the SC and obtained an interim stay. She returned to the campus on Monday to a rousing reception with her supporters bursting crackers and putting up ‘amma’ hoardings and posters.

The Syndicate members who have raised a banner of protest are M. Rajarajan, R. Kannan, K. Pitchumani, V. Venkataraman, K. Selvakumar, P. Periyakaruppan and Murali Pakshirajan.

Speaking to The Hindu on behalf of his colleagues on Wednesday, Mr. Rajarajan, Principal, Cardamom Planters’ Association College, Bodinayakanur, said that they were against the working style, policies, vindictiveness and high-handedness of Dr. Kalyani Mathivanan.

“We boycotted her arrival on July 7. What happened on that day was too much and we must remember that MKU is an educational institution. We are united in our resolve to save the university and restore academic ambience,” Dr. Rajarajan said. They will shortly meet the Governor, Higher Education Minister and Secretary to register their protest.

“As a first step, we are ready to resign from all Syndicate sub-committees. Unless she adheres to the advice of the Syndicate, there is no point in continuing,” he said.

Dr. Rajarajan accused her of being vindictive, especially against senior faculty member S. Krishnaswamy.
“Actually, I was a member of the committee formed by her to enquire into alleged misappropriation of funds. Being a science professor myself, I know how research projects work in the university. Last month, when I was in the US, she removed me from the committee to get a report against Dr. S. Krishnaswamy,” he alleged.

The syndicate members, he said, were also against the recent appointments and they demanded a CB-CID enquiry into the allegations of corruption.

“Our fight is not against an individual but to stop vindictive attitude. The vindictive transfers and departmental action should stop. Since we have no other go, the hope is only on the Governor and State Government,” he also said.

Repeated attempts to contact Dr. Kalyani Mathivanan, the Registrar and Public Relations Officer for their reaction did not elicit any response.