There is a huge difference between Amartya Sen and Rajan Welukar: one is a great scholar, while the other has little scholarship to his credit. Sen resigned from his post as chancellor of Nalanda University on the same day that Welukar was forced out as vice-chancellor of Mumbai University.

Sen alleges the Narendra Modi government does not want him to continue. Welukar was removed after an order by the Maharashtra governor. Neither complained of political discretion when they were appointed by previous governments. It is unfortunate that top academic jobs are political appointments. Sen has quite rightly written in his resignation letter that “academic governance in India remains so deeply vulnerable to the opinions of the ruling government"; he did not seem to be worried about this when he was appointed by the Manmohan Singh government.

Yet, the Modi government should have the grace to see that having a person like Sen lead the new university is a good idea.

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