Narendra Kumar Pandey alias Sunil Pandey, a suspended JD-U MLA charged with serious criminal offences, has received a PhD from a Bihar University. And his subject? Ahimsa (non-violence).
Pandey’s curriculum vitae includes life sentence for masterminding the kidnapping of noted neurosurgeon of Patna Ramesh Chandra, a two-year imprisonment by a Sasaram court for violation of prohibitory orders in Dehri-on-Sone in 2006 and a three-month sentence by Patna High Court for contempt of court. What’s more, the Rohtas police earlier charge-sheeted him in an extortion case.
He has also been charged with threatening mediapersons and policemen on several occasions. A few months back, he threatened a journalist with dire consequences for showing him on a private news channel in an inebriated state in a posh hotel.
However, Veer Keur Singh University at Ara has awarded him the PhD for his research on ‘Mahavir Ke Updesh Adhunik Paripeksha Mein’ (Mahavir’s teachings in modern context).
Now an inmate in Patna’s Beur jail, Pandey said, “Padhai kahin bhi aur kabhi ki ja sakti hai (One can study any time, any where).” He added that next he wanted a D-Lit.
Considered to be an expert on Jainism and Prakrit language, Pandey appeared at the viva voce examination on November 25 under police custody. He was interviewed for nearly an hour by a team of experts on Jainism and the result was published on November 27.
A gold medallist from S.B. College, Pandey has authored several articles on Mahavir’s ahimsa. He is a life member of the All India Oriental Conference in Pune, Indian Society of Buddhist Studies in Jammu and the Indian Society of Gandhian Studies.
Pandey is, however, not an isolated case. Earlier, Mohammad Shahabuddin, the controversial RJD MP from Siwan, was awarded a PhD in political science from BRA Bihar University of Muzaffarpur.