St Stephen's principal Valson Thampu who has been under constant attack by certain alumni of the college for allegedly bringing bad name to the institution, today dared them to debate the "facts" with him on a "neutral forum".
Thampu, also claimed that his tenure has been a "nightmare" and referred the alumni pointing fingers at him as "disgruntled elements" who pretend to have love for their alma mater.
"Both sides being heard on an equal footing is the essence of any debate. This bottom-line norm is sought to be perverted by a few disgruntled elements into a stone-pelting exercise, with words for stones. In my boyhood days I used to see street urchins throwing stones at mango trees laden with ripe mangoes," he said in a Facebook post.
"In those days they did not, being simple folks, call this act of dishonest violence 'love for my alma Mater, the mango tree'. I challenge these misguided Knight Errants of the bash-St Stephen's chivalry code to debate the facts with me on a neutral forum. Unlike them I am not an expert in stone throwing," he added.
Last week, prominent alumni including Arjun awardee Raja Randhir Singh, former Congress MP Sandip Dikshit, BJD MP Kalikesh, Congress leader Sharmishtha Mukherjee, had come out against Thampu's move to push for amendment of the college's 102-year-old constitution for empowering the principal and the Church of North India (CNI).
Former test cricketer and an alumnus Kirti Azad had described the present situation at his alma mater as "disgusting" and said the issue will be raised in Parliament by the MPs who are alumni of the college.
The alumni have often raised demands for Thampu's removal, amid controversies over allegations of forced conversion of an administrative officer to Christianity, fake degree used for his appointment, banning of e-zine for not seeking permission on content and shielding a professor accused of sexual harassment of a research scholar, that have rocked the college from time to time.
"Last 8 years I have lived a nightmare.. My nightmare also pertains to some of the specimens Stephen's has put out. To arm and equip individuals, who are unburdened by conscience or a sense of shame, with knowledge and skills and to let them loose in the society is a crime against humankind," he further said, adding, "he is apologetic for Stephen's having harboured some compulsive liars over the years".