CUK registrar triggers controversy with letter to RSS chief

He sought an appointment though V-C says there is no such instruction from the university


A letter written on the Central University of Karnataka (CUK) letterhead by Registrar (In-charge) Basavaraj Donur seeking an appointment with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) sarsangchalak (chief) Mohan Bhagwat has triggered a controversy in the university and the academic circles in the State.

In the letter dated 9-12-2021 and addressed to Mr. Bhagwat, a copy of which is available with The Hindu, Mr. Donur has, as the Registrar of the university, introduced himself as a professor of English and a bilingual writer, and claimed that he writes stories, novels, plays, poetry and criticism, before seeking an appointment with the RSS chief. He also mentioned that he has been invited to an event at Kavikulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University in Ramtek on January 8, 2022.

Basavaraj Donur, Registrar (In-charge) of Central University of Karnataka 


“With high spirits and humbleness, I am approaching you through this letter… As I am in this holy town of Ramtek, which also is the birthplace of revered late Shri Golwalkar Guruji, I would like to pay a courtesy visit to you in the RSS headquarters, Nagpur on the 8th or 9th of January, 2022. I know, you have been extremely busy travelling across the nation for attending to different sections of society through RSS. In your hectic schedule, if possible, kindly confirm my appointment with you,” he wrote.

Some activists took to social media to criticise Mr. Donur for his desire to meet the RSS chief as Registrar of the university.

“Critic Basavaraj Donur is an example of the presence of slave generation in the literary world in the guise of rationalism,” Vaddagere Nagarajaiah wrote in his Facebook post, which also had a portion of Mr. Donur’s letter translated into Kannada.

Activist and writer K. Neela held CUK Vice-chancellor Battu Satyanarayana responsible for Mr. Donur’s letter.

“As head of the university, Vice-chancellor Mr. Satyanarayana should take the responsibility. Mr. Satyanarayana himself had termed progressive intellectuals and democratic people as pseudo-secularists in one of the meetings recently. I heard that right-wing forces are forcibly collecting funds from university employees for Ram temple construction and threatening those who refuse to contribute. All these communal people are trying to destroy the plurality of the university and the region, and communalise the institution,” she said.

Vice-Chancellor Mr. Satyanarayana told The Hindu that he has not instructed Mr. Donur to meet the RSS chief. “Mr. Donur is an in-charge Registrar. I have not assigned any task to meet the RSS chief. I came to know about the letter, purportedly written by Mr. Donur to Mr. Bhagwat, only through the media. Will check and do the needful,” he said.

Mr. Donur justified his action. “I agree that I have written a letter. There is nothing wrong with it. There is no rule that I should not use my letterhead when I write a letter. It is a courtesy visit and there is nothing controversial about it… He [Mr. Bhagwat] is neither a terrorist nor an anti-Indian. I personally believe that for building a strong nation and all tolerant society people representing all faiths should come together… politically-driven and evil-intended people are giving an ugly and morally objectionable twist to a simple, courtesy letter written to a fellow Indian… I know some people, who are intolerant of my academic and career growth, are trying to tarnish my image and also harming the university,” he said. He warned of filing a criminal case against ‘the people who have made baseless allegations’ against him.

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