When 62 of the countrys best known academicians and authors threaten to sever links with a prestigious publishing house, the issue ceases to be an "internal matter". Besides, the Oxford University Press (OUP) has been washing its dirty linen in public anyway.
It all began with the unfolding of a sordid tale last week in the capital, when the high-pro file director of OUPs academic division, Rukun Advani, and equally competent commissioning editor Anuradha Roy were served notices asking one of them to quit and subsequently, served suspension orders on grounds of "gross misconduct" and causing "continuing disruption in the office". Advani resigned immediately after 18 years of service. Their offence: they were married to each other (and have been so for the past two years) and hence could not continue working in the same organisation. This, despite the fact that their contract did not specify any such clause. Even OUP managing director Manzar Khan has publicly acknowledged that globally the publishing house has no such policy. There are 5,000 employees worldwide and among them there are a number of married couples, both in India and abroad .