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For four decades, Reverend Valson Thampu served St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. The last nine years of his tenure were rife with controversy, beginning with his stepping in as principal (OSD) in 2007. From accusations that he was ‘Christianizing’ the college to allegations that he curbed the fundamental rights of the students, Reverend Thampu was constantly in the glare of the media throughout his term as principal. What was the story behind these controversies? And why, as the world looked on, did the Reverend stay on despite the threat to his reputation as well as that of the institution? In On a Stormy Course, for the first time, he lays bare the truth about the incidents that took place during his turbulent years as principal of one of the most prestigious educational institutions in India. In doing so, he reveals not just the trajectory that education at St. Stephen’s seems to have taken but also the rot in the system that has brought the college to such a pass – and shares his views on how improving the system will serve social justice and, ultimately, the nation itself.
About the Author
Teacher, thinker, author, radical religious reformer and, accidentally, a controversialist, Valson Thampu steered St. Stephen’s College through a period of unprecedented turbulence as its twelfth principal (2007–2016). Thampu has combined his lifelong commitment to academics with an assortment of involvements that ranges from being a prolific columnist to social activism to the quasi-judicial adjudication of minority rights as a member of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Government of India, 2004–2007. His translation of the work of renowned Malayalam author Sarah Joseph, Othappu: The Scent of the Other Side , won the Crossword Prize for Translation in 2010.
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