No politics, please: St Stephen's principal on his statement on student Satyam Jha's Covid death
St Stephen's College principal John Varghese on Friday issued a clarification and said that the college does not recognise any political body and neither does it encourage politics on the campus. This comes after his heartfelt note 'From Pandemic to Panacea' on the Covid death of a first-year History Honours student of his college was apparently interpreted with political colour.
Lamenting the passing away of Satyam Jha, "a young man looking forward to life expectantly", the principal wrote, "The claims of belligerent and blind leaders who are immune to suffering and deaths of simple people also show that we are veering off dangerously to becoming a cruel and insensitive race. How do all those claims of power and importance matter before the death of a loved one? Nothing," he wrote in a long note where he said Covid teaches people humility.
But his message was reported in a "divisive, mischievous and irresponsible" nature, he said. "Common sense and propriety demand that every communication be treated in its entirety, paying full attention to the context in which it is made," he wrote in the note issued on Friday.
The passing away of the 18-year-old has come as a shock as Saytam was actively involved in arranging Covid relief until he contracted the virus.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter and said it was heartbreaking to start the day with the news of this death. "Heartbreaking news to start the day with: a topper at my school, studying my subject in my college, helping others, dies of #Covid at 18 years of age. My heart grieves for his parents. Tragedies assail us daily but there’s a poignancy to the loss of one with so much potential," he wrote.
Satyam was admitted to New Medical College Hospital in Kota after he developed breathlessness, almost 10 days after he got fever. Then he was shifted to a private hospital and passed away on May 25. Satyam did not step in the campus because of the ongoing pandemic and attended classes from Kota online.