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Dalit professor booked for comments on Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi dispute

Prof. Ravi Kant had made the statements that a section of Hindu students led by ABVP found offensive

Sabrangindia 11 May 2022

ravi kant

In fresh developments in the controversy surrounding allegedly offensive remarks by a Lucknow University professor, the Uttar Pradesh Police have now filed a First Information Report (FIR) in the case.

Trouble began when Ravi Kant, a Dalit man and an associate professor in the Hindi Department of the University, made a remark during an online debate that was organised on the subject of the Kashi Vishwanath temple – Gyanvapi mosque dispute. It is noteworthy that this debate took place even as a video survey of the Maa Shringar Gauri temple located in the mosque premises was being carried on Monday.

Scroll.in reports that Professor Ravi Kant was charged under Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion etc.), 504 (intentional insult with the intent to prove a breach of peace), 505 (2) (statements conducive to public mischief committed in a place of worship) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act.

According to an NDTV report, Professor Ravi Kant’s statements were based on a book titled Feathers and Stones by B Pattabhi Sitaramayya, an independence activist and political leader from Andhra Pradesh, about why Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi was demolished by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The professor reportedly told the story of a rape that took place in the temple when Aurangzeb was passing through Varanasi, suggesting this was Aurangzeb’s justification for razing the temple. But he also said that he could not corroborate the story.

But some students found his remarks to be insensitive towards Hindus. Shortly afterwards members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) held demonstrations demanding the professor’s resignation and arrest. Senior journalist Saba Naqvi shared this video of the protest on Twitter where the protesters can be heard chanting, “Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro s***on ko. (Shoot the traitors)”

 

 

The Kashi Vishwanath temple – Gyanvapi mosque subject is as sensitive as the Ayodhya dispute, and there has been a resurgence in the demand to tear down the mosque that was built alongside the temple when Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb razed a portion of the temple. In fact, the mosque was reportedly built using debris from the temple demolition. The dispute has been in the news lately due to a slew of petitions demanding that the mosque land be returned to the temple trust and people be allowed to perform traditional Hindu prayers there once again.

In an unrelated matter, Payal Nath, the former wife of Kashmiri leader Omar Abdullah was allegedly prevented from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Kashi Vishwanath temple on Monday. According to a report in Prabhat Khabar, Nath had reached the temple to watch the Magala Aarti, but was prevented from entering the sanctum sanctorum due to protocol. According to temple authorities Nath had arrived after giving prior intimation and had even purchased a ticket. She was allowed to watch the aarti for one hour. However, some people were a little hesitant when they heard the name Abdullah. She watched the aarti from outside the area. It is now known if she was able to perform ‘darshan’ of the deity.

Related:

Gyanvapi case: One out of five withdrawing name from Maa Shringar Gauri temple petition?

Gyanvapi case: Videographic survey of Maa Shringar Gauri temple begins

Dalit professor booked for comments on Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi dispute

Prof. Ravi Kant had made the statements that a section of Hindu students led by ABVP found offensive

ravi kant

In fresh developments in the controversy surrounding allegedly offensive remarks by a Lucknow University professor, the Uttar Pradesh Police have now filed a First Information Report (FIR) in the case.

Trouble began when Ravi Kant, a Dalit man and an associate professor in the Hindi Department of the University, made a remark during an online debate that was organised on the subject of the Kashi Vishwanath temple – Gyanvapi mosque dispute. It is noteworthy that this debate took place even as a video survey of the Maa Shringar Gauri temple located in the mosque premises was being carried on Monday.

Scroll.in reports that Professor Ravi Kant was charged under Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion etc.), 504 (intentional insult with the intent to prove a breach of peace), 505 (2) (statements conducive to public mischief committed in a place of worship) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act.

According to an NDTV report, Professor Ravi Kant’s statements were based on a book titled Feathers and Stones by B Pattabhi Sitaramayya, an independence activist and political leader from Andhra Pradesh, about why Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi was demolished by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The professor reportedly told the story of a rape that took place in the temple when Aurangzeb was passing through Varanasi, suggesting this was Aurangzeb’s justification for razing the temple. But he also said that he could not corroborate the story.

But some students found his remarks to be insensitive towards Hindus. Shortly afterwards members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) held demonstrations demanding the professor’s resignation and arrest. Senior journalist Saba Naqvi shared this video of the protest on Twitter where the protesters can be heard chanting, “Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro s***on ko. (Shoot the traitors)”

 

 

The Kashi Vishwanath temple – Gyanvapi mosque subject is as sensitive as the Ayodhya dispute, and there has been a resurgence in the demand to tear down the mosque that was built alongside the temple when Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb razed a portion of the temple. In fact, the mosque was reportedly built using debris from the temple demolition. The dispute has been in the news lately due to a slew of petitions demanding that the mosque land be returned to the temple trust and people be allowed to perform traditional Hindu prayers there once again.

In an unrelated matter, Payal Nath, the former wife of Kashmiri leader Omar Abdullah was allegedly prevented from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Kashi Vishwanath temple on Monday. According to a report in Prabhat Khabar, Nath had reached the temple to watch the Magala Aarti, but was prevented from entering the sanctum sanctorum due to protocol. According to temple authorities Nath had arrived after giving prior intimation and had even purchased a ticket. She was allowed to watch the aarti for one hour. However, some people were a little hesitant when they heard the name Abdullah. She watched the aarti from outside the area. It is now known if she was able to perform ‘darshan’ of the deity.

Related:

Gyanvapi case: One out of five withdrawing name from Maa Shringar Gauri temple petition?

Gyanvapi case: Videographic survey of Maa Shringar Gauri temple begins

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