New Delhi: A private university in Karnataka has suspended a lecturer after a video showing a student vocally criticising him for allegedly calling him by a terrorist’s name went viral on social media.
In the video, the Manipal Institute of Technology student – who is Muslim – is heard making an impassioned case to a lecturer in a classroom that he cannot joke about his faith in a derogatory manner.
Breaking: Manipal Univ has reportedly suspended the professor who called a Muslim student a ‘terrorist’: this is what ‘normalisation’ of awful bigotry does for which public figures, civil society and media too need to introspect. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/FflAYAhzeS
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) November 28, 2022
“26/11 [the day of the Mumbai terror attacks] is not funny. Being a Muslim in this country and facing all this everyday is not funny, sir,” the student is heard saying. “You can’t joke about my religion, that too in a derogatory manner,” he adds.
Other students are silent at this time and one appears to ask him to calm down.
PTI has reported that the lecturer is heard apologising to the student in the video and tells him he was “like his son.”
“Will you talk to your son like that? Will you call him by the name of a terrorist?” the student replied, according to NDTV.
When the lecturerA said “no”, the student continued: “Then how can you call me like that in front of so many people? You are a professional, you are teaching. A sorry doesn’t change how you think or how you portray yourself here.”
The student then says that if his father had said something like that, he would disown him as well.
The incident allegedly took place last week, university director of public relations S.P. Kar has said. The institute has also claimed that the student was provided counselling.
Statement by Manipal Institute of Technology on recent incident of a Professor allegedly refering to a Muslim student as 'Kasab'. pic.twitter.com/MOGF9pnV4m
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) November 28, 2022
“We would like everyone to know that the institute does not condone this kind of behavior and this isolated incident will be dealt with in accordance with the laid down policy,” the institute said in a statement.
In a WhatsApp post which was later shared in of the student groups of the college, the student seen in the video says he was called ‘Kasab’ by the professor. Ajmal Kasab was one of the terrorists behind the Mumbai attack of 2008 and the only attacker to have been captured alive. He was executed in 2012.
NDTV has reported that the teacher had reportedly asked the student his name, and on hearing a Muslim name, had said, “Oh, you are like Kasab!”
“Hello everyone, all of you must have seen a video going viral, wherein a student is telling his teacher that racist comments are not acceptable. The reason behind this was him calling me by an unacceptable name, Kasab, one of the biggest terrorists this country has ever seen. It was a joke, which cannot be considered a valid-enough reason to question the identity of a human being,” the student wrote in the WhatsApp post, according to PTI.
He then added that he spoke to the lecturer and “realised that he genuinely meant that apology”.
“We as a student community must let it go as a genuine mistake. I understand what was going on in his head and would like to believe he didn’t mean it. It came across wrong from a teacher, a person we admire, but it can be ignored this time. Thank you for standing with me through this. It means a lot,” the student said.
Featured image: Screengrabs from the viral video, showing the student and the teacher at Manipal Institute of Technology.
This article was first published on The Wire.