New Delhi: A professor at Sharda University was suspended and show-caused for setting an examination paper with a question on whether there were similarities between fascism/Nazism and the Hindu rightwing.
A three-member team of senior faculty members was constituted by the private Greater Noida-based university to ‘investigate’ the matter. The team has issued a show-case notice
A paper for first year students of the BA honours course in Political Science had a question: “Do you find any similarities between Fascism/Nazism and Hindu right-wing (Hindutva)? Elaborate with the argument.”
A teaching staff at poltical science department in Sharda university, Noida was suspended after a question on "similarities between Fascism and Hindu right wing" appeared in the mid term exam. A 3-member team has been constituted by the varsity to probe the matter. pic.twitter.com/0XYYCc8iJj
— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) May 7, 2022
“The university regrets that such an incident has taken place that may have the potential for fomenting social discord,” said a statement issued by the university and signed by the registrar, on May 6.
“The university fraternity is totally averse to any line of thought which distorts the great national identity and the inclusive culture inherent in our national ethos,” it further said.
Then, in the same statement, the university pledges support for “the larger mission of civilisational revival”, not elaborating what its connection could be to Hindutva, fascism or Nazism:
“As an institution of higher learning, we are committed to the larger mission of civilisational revival that celebrates the best of our religion, tradition, history, and culture that have shaped not just the idea of India, but all the facets of human knowledge on the world stage.”
— Sharda University (@sharda_uni) May 6, 2022
On May 7, the university publicised the name of the professor and said that a detailed show-cause notice has been issued by the committee to him.
It also said that the probe committee found the question “prima facie objectionable.”
— Sharda University (@sharda_uni) May 7, 2022
The statement also said that the vice-chancellor has approved of the committee’s suggestion that evaluators overlook the question and its answers.
In 2021, the Central University of Kerala initiated disciplinary action against an assistant professor at the Department of International Relations and Politics, Gilbert Sebastian, after he called the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh “proto-fascist” during an online class on ‘Fascism and Nazism.’
After facing severe criticism, the university withdrew the order, but released a circular warning members of its faculty against delivering statements that are “anti-national” and “against the interest of the nation.”
This article was first published on The Wire.