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Aligarh college professor to face probe for namaz?

In a country that regularly plays religious prayers in schools, an assistant teachers offering of namaz has led to a controversy

Sabrangindia 30 May 2022

Aligarh University
Image Courtesy:hindustantimes.com

Aligarh’s Sri Varshney College has taken a singular decision to initiate a probe against an assistant professor for offering namaz on campus. The Principal called for a fact-finding committee to probe the incident despite the fact that Hindu prayers like Hanuman Chalisa are still mandatorily recited in schools.

According to Amar Ujala, a video went viral of the law department professor offering namaz around May 27, 2022. On receiving this news, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) youth wing leaders approached the police demanding the person’s arrest within 48 hours for trying to incite “separatist sentiments” on college campus. Later, Hindustan Times said the police assured the group of registering a case.

BJP Yuva Morcha Mahanagar Vice President Amit Goswami approached the college on Friday and said that it was wrong of the teacher to offer namaz because it will cause differences among students. He claimed a college campus is not meant for propagating one’s religious beliefs. Moreover, he claimed that this might trigger recitals of Hanuman Chalisa by students.

Earlier, during the hijab controversy, many social media tweets and videos highlighted how non-Islamic religious activities are allowed in educational institutions. On February 17, SabrangIndia reported how women students chanted the Hanuman Chalisa everyday at Karkala’s Jaycees English Medium School (JEMS) in Karnataka. However, while the school maintained its secular attitude by including festivals and rituals of other religions, across India we see a reverse trend.

Recently, Mangalore University rekindled the hijab controversy. Even there, right-wing student groups had demanded the boycott of the headgear claiming “religion has no place in educational institutions.” It is argued that the college in question is in fact a degree college and does not fall in the purview of the hijab row.

Yet, the obstinance by the right-wing students’ groups there is reminiscent of what happened in Aligarh. Goswami goes as far as to say the video of the assistant professor is “a well-planned conspiracy to defame the present BJP government.”

Earlier, SabrangIndia had reported on how these changes in college environment and in school education syllabus is yet another attempt to inject the Hindutva, or Sangh Parivar’s agenda of so-called ‘nationalism’ into the students, who may soon be casting their votes during elections.

The college, meanwhile, said that a committee will look into the matter and suggest measures to make sure such incidents do not recur. Already, such arguments have hindered the education of PU college students in Karnataka. Many Muslim girl students suffered during exam season in trying to exercise their basic rights.

Muslim women professors had also suffered similar treatment. Now the institutional discrimination crossed over with the azan controversy to target Muslim men.

Related:

Education in India being ‘edited’ to suit a right-wing syllabus... one chapter at a time
Open letter to Sharda University Vice Chancellor
Hijab controversy: Social media turns attention to other religions in schools
Goa gov't will reprint books by Savarkar, Karnataka will teach Hedgewar’s speech

Aligarh college professor to face probe for namaz?

In a country that regularly plays religious prayers in schools, an assistant teachers offering of namaz has led to a controversy

Aligarh University
Image Courtesy:hindustantimes.com

Aligarh’s Sri Varshney College has taken a singular decision to initiate a probe against an assistant professor for offering namaz on campus. The Principal called for a fact-finding committee to probe the incident despite the fact that Hindu prayers like Hanuman Chalisa are still mandatorily recited in schools.

According to Amar Ujala, a video went viral of the law department professor offering namaz around May 27, 2022. On receiving this news, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) youth wing leaders approached the police demanding the person’s arrest within 48 hours for trying to incite “separatist sentiments” on college campus. Later, Hindustan Times said the police assured the group of registering a case.

BJP Yuva Morcha Mahanagar Vice President Amit Goswami approached the college on Friday and said that it was wrong of the teacher to offer namaz because it will cause differences among students. He claimed a college campus is not meant for propagating one’s religious beliefs. Moreover, he claimed that this might trigger recitals of Hanuman Chalisa by students.

Earlier, during the hijab controversy, many social media tweets and videos highlighted how non-Islamic religious activities are allowed in educational institutions. On February 17, SabrangIndia reported how women students chanted the Hanuman Chalisa everyday at Karkala’s Jaycees English Medium School (JEMS) in Karnataka. However, while the school maintained its secular attitude by including festivals and rituals of other religions, across India we see a reverse trend.

Recently, Mangalore University rekindled the hijab controversy. Even there, right-wing student groups had demanded the boycott of the headgear claiming “religion has no place in educational institutions.” It is argued that the college in question is in fact a degree college and does not fall in the purview of the hijab row.

Yet, the obstinance by the right-wing students’ groups there is reminiscent of what happened in Aligarh. Goswami goes as far as to say the video of the assistant professor is “a well-planned conspiracy to defame the present BJP government.”

Earlier, SabrangIndia had reported on how these changes in college environment and in school education syllabus is yet another attempt to inject the Hindutva, or Sangh Parivar’s agenda of so-called ‘nationalism’ into the students, who may soon be casting their votes during elections.

The college, meanwhile, said that a committee will look into the matter and suggest measures to make sure such incidents do not recur. Already, such arguments have hindered the education of PU college students in Karnataka. Many Muslim girl students suffered during exam season in trying to exercise their basic rights.

Muslim women professors had also suffered similar treatment. Now the institutional discrimination crossed over with the azan controversy to target Muslim men.

Related:

Education in India being ‘edited’ to suit a right-wing syllabus... one chapter at a time
Open letter to Sharda University Vice Chancellor
Hijab controversy: Social media turns attention to other religions in schools
Goa gov't will reprint books by Savarkar, Karnataka will teach Hedgewar’s speech

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