What seemed like a last minute cancellation by Shashi Tharoor of his scheduled speaking engagement at Jamia today, Monday, Feb 25, turned out to be a not-so-last minute cancellation after all.
As you can see in the accompanied image of Shashi Tharoor’s tweets below, the time stamp on it indicates that the organizers of the event were notified by Tharoor of his intention to cancel his speaking engagement latest by 12 in the afternoon. Well in advance of his scheduled talk at 5 p.m. However, the organizers did not feel the need to pass on this bit of information to the public. So many of us in Jamia especially took time out of our day to attend the conference to hear Tharoor speak; Jamia Journal included. But we were only informed of his cancelled visit when the program began at 5 p.m.
It is pertinent to mention here that there was a film screening scheduled today (Feb. 25) that was organized by the Outreach Programme. It too was cancelled. However, the organizers of the film screening had the decency to send a public notification of cancellation for the event. Though they did not mention the reason why it was cancelled, it was nice of them to notify the public in advance.
So the question is: if the organizers of the film screening could do it, why couldn’t the Centre for Culture, Media & Governance — the organizers of the International Conference on “Contours of Media Governance: Teaching, Disciplinarity, Methodology” in which Shashi Tharoor was to speak — do the same?
Also, what is this business about students cannot stay beyond 6 p.m.? Those who can stay back till 5 p.m. cannot have a problem staying back till 6 p.m. It’s obvious the organizers did not want to delay their program, for whatever reason, but instead of telling Tharoor of the actual reason, they made up a story and simply blamed it on the students. Apparently, they did not think Tharoor would tweet about it later and tell the whole world what he was told by the organizers of the conference.
The decent thing for the organizers to do now is to explain themselves to the students. I feel we, the students of Jamia, deserve an explanation.
Incidently, Shashi Tharoor did eventually come to Jamia in the evening. However, he came to see the University Cricket Championship (UCC) match that was being played at the Jamia cricket ground.