The chief minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan has written to the central government urging them to reconsider their decision to name new RGCB campus after the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar.
On Friday, the union minister Dr Harsh Vardhan announced that another campus of Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology in the city of Thiruvananthapuram. He also said that the institute will be named after Golwalkar as Shri Guruji Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar National Centre for Complex Disease in Cancer and Viral Infection. This has drawn criticism especially from the chief minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan. In the letter, he wrote,
“The RGCB was initially run by the state government and was handed over to the government of India with the aim of developing in into a centre achieving the international standards in research and development. Keeping this in view, the government of Kerala is of the opinion that the campus is named after some eminent Indian scientist of international repute instead of the proposed name.”
Communist Party Suggests Alternative
Soon after the announcement was made, the communist party of India leader Mullakkara Retnakaran urged that the institute should be named after Dr Padmanabhan Palpu. Padmanabhan Palpu was a bacteriologist from Kerala in the 1880s was denied a doctor’s job in Travancore because of his caste. He later went onto become the Chief Medical Officer of the state of Mysore. Congress leader and member of parliament from Thiruvanthapuram also backed the suggestion.
In the letter, Pinarayi Vijayan further wrote,