Open letter to the VC of Mysore University Vice-chancellor on the award of D.Litt to Sudha mani aka Mata Amritananda Mayi
Dear Mr Vice Chancellor,
Greetings from an alumnus of the university who got his Post graduation in biochemistry from the faculty of medicine of this university in 1976. Though you may think this a letter of degree wapsi -it is not so. My degree was got fair and square from the results of valuation by a panel of qualified examiners and earned after three years of hard work at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal.
However, nowadays the university seems to be sinking to lower depths by awarding honorary doctorates to barely literate persons for reasons best known to yourselves though it is apparent that your attempts to please the powers that be particularly the ruling party at the centre and the chancellor who represents that. Yes, I would like to take up the issue of the award of D.Litt to Sudha mani aka Mata Amritananda Mayi the self-styled god woman who shot to fame through her display of supernatural powers.
Taking them up one by one I can suggest topics for an academic body like a university which can do due to honour to her achievements.
1. Her first display was that she started speaking at the age of 6 months. You could ask the speech and hearing institute next door to have projects in collaboration with your university.
2. She is supposed to have lit lamps with water. You could ask your department of chemistry to start research projects on that the oil problem of this country could be solved once for all.
3. She is supposed to have converted water into milk pudding by dipping her fingers into it. You could use this technology with co-operation of your other side neighbours –the CFTRI.
4. She is also supposed to have multiplied food hundredfold when it ran short- again a project in collaboration with the same institution. It could be of great use particularly to the armed forces.
5. She is claimed to have cured a leprosy patient called Dattan by licking his sores you could collect her saliva when she arrives to be conferred with the doctorate and use it for research.
6. Many students who are her devotees have claimed that their memory power improved by her blessings. You could use them for all the students at your university/
If needed I can produce the reference for all these claims published by her own institution. It is a matter of shame that such a hallowed institution like a university whose previous vice-chancellors were those like Rashtrakavi Kuvempu who fought against such superstitions all his life be reduced to a level of conferring doctorates on persons of dubious credentials.
Hope better sense will prevail.
President, Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations
Alumnus- M.Sc. in Biochemistry of 1976 batch.