Historian Ramachandra Guha is not joining Ahmedabad University in Gujarat. A fortnight after the private university announced his appointment to the School of Arts and Sciences, Guha said on Twitter on Thursday that he will not be taking up the position “due to circumstances beyond [his] control”.
On October 16, the university had announced Guha’s appointment as the Shrenik Lalbhai Chair Professor of Humanities and director of the Gandhi Winter School at the university’s School of Arts and Sciences.
When contacted, Guha declined to elaborate on this statement.
People familiar with the situation said that high-level political pressure had been brought to bear on the institution’s board members about Guha’s appointment. However, Ahmedabad University officials declined to comment on this.
“Till we know all the details, we have no comments on our side,” said Registrar Bhupendra M Shah. “We came to know in the morning when a couple of people called us. We read the tweet the way you read it.”
Scroll.in was unable to reach Chancellor Sanjay Lalbhai and Vice Chancellor Pankaj Chandra on the phone. Email has been sent to them asking for comment. The article will be updated if they respond.
When Chandra announced the appointment, he had said in a statement that Guha would “bring his interpretation of history including environmental, political, contemporary and even cricket history to develop interesting and powerful programmes and research that stand at the confluence of various disciplines” and that “his presence will help the university build [its] own dialogue around Gandhi”.
Guha recently launched Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World, 1914-1948, the last part of his two-volume biography of Mohandas Gandhi.