Academics rarely do better in politics and so is Amitabh Mattoo, who was more comfortable as a journalist, academic in JNU and later as Vice Chancellor of Jammu University.
Amitabh Mattoo, who had been a JNU professor for long and seen in many academic circles in the past one decade, served as political advisor to the J&K late CM Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and later to Mehbooba Mufti. But in less than six months, he resigned from the post citing personal reasons though informed circles attribute it to differences on policy matters.
“There is no political or administrative reason for my decision to step down. I have resigned due to personal reasons as I seriously feel I need more time to devote to academics. Politics has never been my career or ambition. I also genuinely believe I can serve the people of my country and state better by continuing my academic journey,” he said.
Mattoo was appointed as advisor to Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti with the rank of cabinet minister in April this year but his sudden decision to quit from the position may raise several eye-brows though though he vehemently asked the media not to attribute it to any other reason. The very fact that he cited the reason, which no other person would mention in his resignation news, speaks volumes.
Mattoo, who started his academic career as post-graduate student in JNU, pursued his Ph.D. in London before returning and joining then The Independent (extinct Indian newspaper of the Times group). He later joined JNU as Associate Professor and also served as Vice Chancellor of Jammu University.
Essentially, an academic, Mattoo was a known Kashmiri intellectual in Delhi circles though his stint as political advisor under Mufti Muhammad Sayeed came as no surprise. However, it remains to be seen whether Mehbooba Mufti would accept his resignation or not.