More than a year after retirement as vice-chancellor of Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University, Veenai E. Gayathri has blamed the present Government for not extending her period for yet another 3 years as assured by the former chief minister J. Jeyalalitha. “When I received death threats in 2016, the CM called me. She told me my term as VC has been extended by three years. Senior AIADMK leaders were witness to this. But things took a U-turn after her hospitalisation and death. The extension was not put on record and I had to leave in November 2016,” says Gayathri.
The university was without a VC till January 31, 2018, when Prameela Gurumurthy was appointed after a search committee headed by Musician Sudha Raghunathan and former Madras University Vice-chancellor S P Thyagarajan proposed her name and also blamed the search committee for her exit.
But the minister for Tamil official language and Tamil culture K Pandiarajan said, “The search committee went purely by the merit of the candidate”. The Ministger also added that, “According to UGC norms, a VC must have a PhD and should have served as a professor for 10 years in a university. Gayathri doesn’t meet these norms. There is no doubt she is a great musician and a child prodigy, but the Tamil Nadu government went by what the panel proposed and they decided to have Prameela on board. Our aim was not to insult Gayathri”.
Meanwhile, Gayathri, says she has taken up the matter with governor Banwarilal Purohit, besides approaching chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam.