Kolkata: Ending four months of a bitter standoff with protesting students, Jadavpur University Vice Chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti on Tuesday announced his much-anticipated resignation, saying he had to step down in face of "undemocratic" and "unconstitutional" stir initiated by "politically-affiliated" students.
However, he minced no words in accusing the agitators of "indiscipline", "militant activities" and of indulging in drug and alcohol abuse. Quashing rumours, the academician said his resignation is not linked to any pressure.
"I am resigning as the VC of JU, not succumbing to the undemocratic agitation done by students, but in best interests of the university, since I have failed to instill discipline in JU ... a premier educational institute of the country," Chakrabarti told the media here, adding he bore no "ill will or hatred" against anybody associated with the varsity.
"My resignation is also a mark of protest against such anarchism perpetrated by the agitating students and unfortunately by some of the teachers who are members of the Jadavpur University Teachers' Association," he said.
Chakrabarti's resignation was on Monday announced by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the campus, triggering a wave of celebrations. On Tuesday the students took out a victory march while supporters from the Presidency University welcomed the new development.
He however termed the agitation "unwholesomely unconstitutional" as the students and teachers were defying the governor, the high court and the executive and had "no allegiance towards the constitution of India" and considered the campus to be a domain beyond it.
The students had been clamouring for Chakrabarti's removal following the September police crackdown on a sit-in by students demanding an independent investigation into an alleged molestation in August.
Defending himself, he said: "Despite the order passed by the Calcutta High Court, as the vice chancellor, I have been patient enough and have taken a soft take by not requisitioning police inside the campus with the fervent hope that good sense will prevail upon the agitators."
"However, with passing days the hope was shattered by the militant activities unbecoming of the protesting students which in fact has deterred from many willing students and teachers from taking up their classes regularly," he noted.
Christened "Hok Kolorob" (Let there be shouts), the agitation gained momentum via social networking sites and had ripple effects across many Indian cities. The alumni particularly lent solid support to the movement.
Chakrabarti noted with "regret" the "misguiding agitating students set a bad example of indiscipline but wished them "all success in life" and hoped academic atmosphere is "restored at the earliest for the benefit of the academy".
"I am leaving with a heavy heart because a section of my colleagues being some teachers of the university joined hands with the students, which is most unfortunate. I feel that it is every teacher's duty to guide the students and not to misguide them.
"The students are at a formative stage and need guidance. They need to realise that the university campus is not meant for indulging in addiction and substance abuse in various forms including alcohol and cannabis etc.
"As a VC it is my duty to guide the students properly and ensure that there is discipline in the university, but unfortunately I failed."
Countering criticism that he was a Trinamool Congress loyalist, Chakrabarti asserted he has no political affiliations but was still "branded by the media as a politically-coloured person".
He said he became the victim of the political agitation and Monday (Jan 12) should be observed as a 'black day'.