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AISA And NSUI Protest Against DU Professor's 'Marks Jihad' Remark

On Friday, the left-wing AISA and the Congress' students' arm, NSUI, staged a protest outside Kirori Mal College.

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 Left-affiliated AISA and the students' wing of the Congress, NSUI, staged a protest outside the Kirori Mal College here on Friday against a professor of the college who had alleged a conspiracy behind the admission of a large number of students from the Kerala board in the Delhi University (DU). Earlier this week, Professor Rakesh Kumar Pandey, a faculty member of the university and a member of the RSS-affiliated National Democratic Teachers' Front (NDTF), alleged a conspiracy behind a large number of students from the Kerala board getting admission to DU colleges and even used the term 'Marks Jihad.

Pandey was not present in the college when the protest was staged. "I had raised an issue and the people about whom I had doubts are raising their voice now. I have not said anything that I should retract. I am ready to have a dialogue and I have arguments to support my views. As long as I can justify my statement, I won't apologise," he said. 

The NDTF, however, dissociated itself from Pandey's comments. "Delhi University is a Central University, open for admission to students from all states and all secondary boards without discrimination. Students from all states have equal rights based on merit criteria to study in the best institutions constituent of the Central University status of DU. 

"NDTF has nothing to do with views expressed by any individual on any state secondary board. NDTF unambiguously dissociates itself from any objectionable statement," the teachers' body said on Friday. The DU on Thursday dismissed allegations of favouritism towards state boards and said it maintains "equity to all meritorious candidates coming not only from Indian states but also from abroad". The All India Students' Association (AISA) demanded Pandey's immediate suspension and strict action against the professor.

"Pandey had recently made horrendous Islamophobic and racist comments against Muslim students and students hailing from Kerala," it said in a statement. AISA members, along with other DU students, first gathered at the Arts Faculty where Pandey's effigy was burnt, which was followed by a march. They raised slogans against casteism and demanded Pandey's suspension from all positions in the Kirori Mal College.

The National Students' Union of India (NSUI) also protested against the professor's remarks about students from Kerala. NSUI members met the principal of the Kirori Mal College and submitted a memorandum. It demanded strict action against the professor at the earliest. The students also burnt a photo of Pandey and demanded an apology from him for his comments.

NSUI state president Kunal Sehrawat said, "We have given a stern warning to the DU administration through the protest today, demanded the immediate dismissal of the professor and also an apology." NSUI national secretary and Delhi in-charge Nitish Gaur said the students of Kerala worked hard to get 100 per cent in the board exams. "The professor should be sacked immediately so that no professor can do such a thing in the future," he said.

The Students' Federation of India (SFI) staged a protest in front of the Arts Faculty in the North Campus and alleged that there is discrimination against the students from state boards in the admission process. The protesters also condemned the "extremely derogatory and communal statement by Pandey", who they accused of "instigating regionalist sentiments against students from Kerala by terming good scores as 'Marks Jihad'".

Meanwhile, the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) burnt an effigy of the DU administration on Friday. Its main demands included fixing the increased cut-offs, normalising the results of the state boards in the admission process, stopping the admission process with an immediate effect and a preliminary screening of students for admission.

ABVP state secretary Sidharth Yadav said, "The future of the students is in danger due to the short-sightedness of the university. All the students of the country are deprived of justice because of the inflated results of a few state boards. We are not against anyone board or one state, we demand that students from all states and boards of the country should get an equal opportunity of admission. DU should have adopted some other option for admission in this adverse situation of the coronavirus."

(PTI)


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DU Protest AISA nsui Kirori Mal College Marks Jihad' Remark

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