NEW DELHI -- Sixteen months after he was appointed as the chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) by the Bharatiya Janata Party government, Y. Sudershan Rao has quit the post.
In his resignation letter addressed to Smriti Irani, who heads the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Rao said, “I tender my apologies for causing this inconvenience midway to the government. I relinquish this office with some satisfaction that I could do some good work in ICHR during my term.”
Rao denied that he had resigned at being denied an honorarium of Rs 1.5 lakh per month, The Indian Express reported on Friday.
“There are two points here to clarify. Firstly, I did not hear a yes or a no from HRD (ministry) on this issue for you to say I have decided on those grounds. Secondly, the council passed the request to HRD, it was not my individual request," he told the newspaper.
Rao is member of the Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana, the history wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and his three-year term appointment in July 2014 was questioned by historians like Romila Thapar and DN Jha.
"One is surprised at the appointment of Professor Y. Sudershan Rao as chairperson of the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR). Professor Rao's work is unfamiliar to most historians, with little visibility of research that he might have carried out," Thapar wrote.
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