Anand Shanker Singh (51), member-secretary of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), has resigned from the post, less than six months after his appointment by the HRD Ministry.
Singh, who was vice-president of the Uttar Pradesh chapter of RSS-backed Akhila Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Yojana (ABISY) and principal of Iswar Saran Degree College in Allahabad at the time of his appointment in January, was relieved of his responsibilities by Council Chairman Y S Rao on Thursday. Rao completed his three-year term on Friday.
S K Aruni, Deputy Director (Research), has been asked to officiate as member-secretary till a successor is appointed.
Rao confirmed Singh’s resignation to The Indian Express. “He (Singh) quit because of personal reasons. He wanted to go back (to his parent institution). That’s all. No particular reason. He was relieved yesterday (Thursday),” said Rao. Singh was unreachable for comment despite repeated attempts. Singh is learnt to have informally told ICHR staff that he was having trouble with the lien terms on which he was relieved as principal of Iswar Saran Degree College by Allahabad University to serve as ICHR’s member-secretary for three years. The Indian Express could not independently verify this with Singh. However, his appointment by the HRD Ministry was cleared only after taking Allahabad University’s consent, said government sources.
Singh, who specialises in Indian numismatics and palaeography and ancient Indian socio-economic history, was selected by a committee in which Rao was a member.
His appointment came one-and-a-half years after historian Gopinath Ravindran, a UPA II appointee, resigned halfway through his term in June 2015, over differences with Rao about the Council’s decision to disband the advisory committee of its journal, comprising 21 historians, including Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib.
He is not the only ABISY member inducted into ICHR under the NDA-II government. Council members Narayan Rao, Ishwar Sharan Vishwakarma, Nikhilesh Guha and Rao are associated with the RSS’s history wing. At the time of their appointment to the Council, Narayan Rao was national vice-president of ABISY, Vishwakarma was the all-India general secretary, Guha headed the West Bengal chapter of AIBSY and Rao was chief of the Andhra Pradesh chapter. ABISY’s official website states that its objective is to write “Bharatheeya (Indian) history from a national perspective”.