New Delhi: The principal of the Government New Law College (GNLC) in Indore has said that he was forced to resign because of protests by the ABVP, adding that he was being targeted because of his faith.
Over the past few days, members of the ABVP have targeted the college for allegedly “promoting negative thoughts” and subsequently objecting to a book that allegedly shows the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) in poor light.
On December 1, GNLC took six teachers off duty temporarily and ordered a judicial inquiry heafter ABVP – which is affiliated to the RSS – accused them of “offering namaaz on Fridays and not taking classes then, promoting fundamentalism, ‘negative thoughts’ on the government and Army, along with ‘love jihad’ and non-vegetarianism.”
According to the Indian Express, the student body protested against Inamur Rahman because a book titled Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System, written by Farhat Khan, showed the RSS in poor light “without any facts and encouraged anti-national thoughts”.
Rahman was forced to resign on Saturday. However, hours later, a case was registered against him and three others for promoting enmity between two groups, defamation and other sections of the Indian Penal Code. The case also mentions professor Mirza Mojij, the author of the book Farhat Khan and Amar Law Publications, which published the book.
According to the newspaper, Rahman issued a statement after the FIR was registered against him, saying he is being targeted for his faith. “I had to resign under pressure with no fault of mine. We had never received any complaint on December 1, and despite ordering an inquiry by a retired district court judge, students raised objectionable and hurtful slogans, demanding my resignation,” he told IE.
According to NDTV, Rahman said: “There is a course named ‘Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System’. Considering that there is no prescribed syllabus for this course, students can choose any book on this topic.”
He said that the book in question, Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System, was being used in the college even before his appointment as the principal. “I was appointed Principal in 2019, while this particular book has been in the college library since 2014,” he said.
Rahman told Indian Express that the book was procured by the principal in 2014. “One of the old copies in the library was issued by some students,” he said. After some people objected to the book’s content, the writer apologised and it was never a part of the curriculum, he added.
According to NDTV, the ABVP has objected to statements in the book like, “Hindu communalism is emerging as a destructive ideology. Hindu outfits, including VHP [Vishwa Hindu Parishad], want to establish a Hindu-majority state and want to enslave other communities.” It also mentions the Shiv Sena and expresses concern over the dilution of Article 370 of the Indian constitution that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Reports say that the FIR was registered on the basis of a written application submitted by one Lucky Adiwal, an LLM student at GNLC who has not paid his fees for the past two years. According to IE, Rahman pointed out that Adiwal and eight others who signed the December 1 memorandum had been orally told to pay the fee.
Featured image: Government New Law College in Indore. Photo: mphighereducation.nic.in
This article was first published on The Wire.