Lucknow, May 11
A video clip of a remark by a Lucknow University professor has triggered a controversy with the ABVP staging a protest and filing an FIR against him for allegedly hurting Hindu religious sentiments.
The FIR against professor Ravikant Chandan was registered on Tuesday after a clip of his remark surfaced on social media, the ABVP’s Avadh Prant organisation secretary Anshul Srivastava told PTI.
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is a student organisation affiliated to the RSS.
The Lucknow University administration has sought a written clarification from the professor, but he said he has not received any such communication.
“During a debate on a social media platform, I had quoted a popular story from the book ‘Feathers and Stones’ by Pattabhi Sitaramayya regarding the Kashi temple demolition and building of a mosque,” professor Chandan told PTI.
“The ABVP and other organisations used part of the video to indulge in wrong publicity and instigated people, leading to a mob gathering against me at the university on Tuesday and raising objectionable slogans,” he said.
The professor added that he could not independently corroborate the story, which described a rape that took place inside the temple complex when Aurangzeb was passing through Varanasi.
Chandan said the ABVP used a part of the video to indulge in wrong publicity and instigate people against him.
Students of the university took offence over his remark and staged a protest against him, the professor added.
According to Srivastava, the professor too lodged an FIR against ABVP activists and some students on Wednesday, alleging that they tried to assault him and created hatred against him through social media.
Professor Chandan, however, said that he had also lodged a complaint, but no FIR was registered.
“Our objection was that without knowing the facts, speaking on a public platform on the basis of a book is not right, and it is least expected from a teacher. It is not just ABVP activists but also common students and all those having faith in the Hindu religion and culture who will be agitated by it and comments in this regard started pouring in from the very first day,” Srivastava added.
The students wanted to express their objection in a peaceful manner before the proctorial board and ABVP activists were also present there, and things could have been resolved if the professor had expressed regret over the same, but he started sending messages to his people that there is an attempt to lynch him, he said.
Professor Chandan, a Dalit, said he was asked to express regret over his remark but casteist remarks were made against him as well.
“Since I was sitting in the room with the mob knocking at the door, I was disturbed, and in that state, posted on Facebook that it seems like they had gathered to lynch me. I deleted it on objections from ABVP people but still an FIR was lodged against me,” he said.
The FIR was registered against the professor for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of Hindu students and disturbing communal harmony and tarnishing the image of the university by spreading propaganda through social media.
On the ABVP’s future course of action, Srivastava said deliberations are on and that they are waiting to see what step the administration takes. Otherwise, students will be forced to stage a protest, he added.
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