New Delhi: A government-run law college in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore has taken six teachers temporarily off duty and ordered a judicial inquiry after Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad 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.
On Thursday, December 1, ABVP activists demonstrated at the campus of Shasakiya Navin Vidhi Mahavidyalay (Government New Law College), demanding action against the teachers. A video on social media shows a group of young men shouting slogans against ‘love jihad’ and for ABVP.
Four of the six teachers are Muslims.
These teachers will not teach classes for five days while the judicial inquiry is conducted into the allegations of the RSS-affiliated student union, the college principal said.
Dipendra Thakur, head of the ABVP unit at the college, alleged in a complaint to principal Dr Inamur Rahman that some teachers promoted “religious fundamentalism and negative thoughts about the government and the Army” in the first-year students.
Thakur alleged that on Fridays, the principal, Muslim teachers and students offer namaaz and during this time classes are not held. Offering namaaz publicly is not illegal in India, although some Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states have initiated action prohibiting it.
‘Love jihad’ and ‘non-vegetarianism’ are promoted on campus, Thakur also alleged in his complaint.
‘Love jihad’ is a term popularised by Hindutva groups and now used often on mainstream media with the unfounded claim that there is a conspiracy to lure Hindu girls into marriage and convert them to Islam. The Union home ministry has said that it has no data on such cases.
Hindutva also propagates a line of vegetarianism which considers India’s non-vegetarian minority communities as inferior.
Principal Rahman, meanwhile, said the atmosphere in the college was not what was described in the complaint.
“As the ABVP’s complaint is serious, I have decided that an inquiry should be conducted by a retired judge of the district court,” he told reporters.
To ensure that the inquiry can be conducted in a fair manner, the six teachers who faced accusations have been taken off duty for five days, he said.
As to the two Hindu teachers among them, he said the ABVP has accused them of “behaving in autocratic way and not talking properly with students.”
Featured image: A screengrab showing students, allegedly from ABVP, raising slogans at a government law college in Indore of Madhya Pradesh.
(With PTI inputs)