Days after School Education Minister Vinod Tawde faced flak for allegedly asking college students to look for employment if they could not afford fees for higher education, senate members of the University of Mumbai (MU) wrote to Governor and university Chancellor Ch Vidyasagar Rao on Friday seeking an apology from the minister.
The letter, signed by members Pradip Sawant, Milind Satam, Supriya Karande, Pravin Patkar and six others, said Tawde misused his power and ordered “arrest” of a student who had recorded the interaction. Senate members of the MU want to lodge their protest, they said.
“The state administration has given everyone the right to ask questions and express their opinion. The minister paid no heed that the students were pursuing journalism and his speech does not suit his designation. He also displayed authoritarian behaviour by demanding ‘arrest’ of students for asking contentious questions,” the letter read, asking Rao to demand an apology from Tawde.
According to reports, Tawde was chief guest at a debate at the Shri Shivaji Arts and Commerce College, Amravati, where students questioned him about exorbitant fees. He allegedly responded that if they couldn’t afford education, then they should find employment.
However, the minister said the issue was being politicised. “Nothing like that has ever happened, so it’s only politics, which must be ignored,” Tawde told The Indian Express.
“Why (discuss the) Amravati issue in MU? I appeal not to bring politics in the education field,” he said.