Independent lawmaker Jignesh Mevani's college cancelled its annual day function Monday after the institution's trustees got protest calls against the Dalit leader being the chief guest.
Slamming the decision of the Brahamchari Vadi Trust, which runs the HK Arts College, principal Hemant Shah resigned from his post. He claimed the trust "compromised on the freedom of expression" and gave in to threats by student leaders of a political party.
Mr Mevani is an alumnus of the college. The trustees denied access to the auditorium, located on the campus, due to which the event had to be cancelled.
Mr Mevani "saluted" the principal's decision to quit and tweeted about the incident.
H K Arts College with prominent trustees like B V Doshi, R Chaudhary & K Desai (all Padma Awardees) are not standing up against the hooliganism of BJP and its student wing. This is a shameful day for freedom of speech and democracy. Strongly condemn this move. @CMOGuj shame on u— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) February 11, 2019
He also said since Narendra Modi became the prime minister, "many people have become spineless". He also said the "unfortunately" the college trustees fall in that category.
Mr Shah said his decision to invite Mr Mevani was not wrong as leaders from different political parties have been invited to earlier events in the college.
"It is clear that freedom of thought and expression given in our Constitution are being stifled in the current political scenario, and this is being patronised politically," Mr Shah said.
Some student leaders had threatened to disrupt the event if Mr Mevani was invited, he said.
"Humans will not be humans without the freedom of expression and will be reduced to becoming a pawn in the hands of a demonic system called government," he said.
Trust secretary Amrish Shah could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts.