St Stephen’s College at cross-roads, rues Valson Thampu

St Stephen’s principal Valson Thampu on Friday said the college was “at the cross-roads” even as a member of its Governing Body wondered whether the time has come to shut down the institution in the wake of a row over sexual harassment of a research scholar.

“There is serious rot in the education system...Principals have to live in fear and serve in servitude. They have to bend backwards before every Tom, Dick and Harry. Those who do not, get hammered. The college doesn’t deserve the shabby treatment it is being administered to by a section of society, including a handful of ‘disgruntled’ alumni,” the principal said on Facebook in response to a post by Deepak Mukarji, a member of the St Stephen’s College Governing Body.

“I agree with Deepak that the College is truly at the <g data-gr-id="23">cross-roads</g>,” Thampu said.

<g data-gr-id="32">Mukarji</g> stated in the Facebook post: “Now that the Supreme Council has stated its support for St Stephen’s College and its principal, it may well be time to introspect the future of the college, including considering shutting the college and handing the premises over to St Stephen’s Hospital as a R&D institution or some such facility to do with medical education”.

“The core purpose of Christian service to the nation would not <g data-gr-id="27">change,</g> while certainly reducing the unnecessary level of noise around it,” he added.

St Stephen’s Supreme Council, a part of the Governing Body, come out in support of <g data-gr-id="24">Thampu</g>, saying the college is being subjected to character assassination for vested interests. 

A research scholar has alleged that she was molested by an assistant professor and that <g data-gr-id="30">Thampu</g> had tried to shield him. While <g data-gr-id="31">Thampu</g> has claimed that he is being “chased as an animal” over the issue despite doing his best in the capacity of <g data-gr-id="35">principal</g>, several organisations, including students, have been demanding his removal. Thampu has said he would resign if “it is objectively proved that he is an embarrassment to the institution”. 
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