In the wake of the objections raised by Deoband's Islamic seminary Darul Uloom and other Muslim organisations, a scholar of Meerut's Chaudhary Charan Singh University has offered not to conduct a research on the works of author Salman Rushdie.
Prabha Parmar's topic for a post-doctoral fellowship was 'The use of magic realism in the major novels of Salman Rushdie, Amitabh Ghosh and Vikram Seth'. The fellowship, awarded by the UGC, had created a hue and cry among Muslims.
In an e-mail sent on Thursday, Parmar said she has no intention to hurt the feelings of any community or individual. "Therefore, in wake of the controversy… I am ready to change or amend the topic," she wrote.
The university has recommended to the UGC that Parmar be given a chance to work on a fresh topic, said Professor Arun Kumar, former head of the department. The UGC is yet to release any funds to her.
The university, however, has cited Parmar's inability to begin work even two months after the award of fellowship as a ground for the cancellation of her erstwhile topic.
"The day after getting her registration in the department, Parmar went on maternity leave," said Kumar.
Darul Uloom had criticised the university for awarding research works on Rushdie's novels.
"We strongly condemn it," a spokesperson of the seminary on Wednesday. This, he said, was "an overt act of treachery" as Rushdie has blasphemed against Islam and hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims.
A few Muslim bodies also conveyed their objections to Union human resource minister Kapil Sibal, demanding immediate cancellation of the fellowship or a change of the scholar's topic.