‘Marks jihad’: Kerala sends letter to Centre deploring DU Prof
Kerala higher education minister R Bindu on Sunday wrote to Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan seeking action against Delhi University professor Rakesh Kumar Pandey who kicked up a row last week by coining a communally sensitive and derogatory term -- “marks jihad” -- to contend that students from the southern state were being given higher marks in Class 12 so that they could systematically take over the country’s top higher education institutes.
In the letter, Bindu said his words cast unnecessary aspersions on the state, and that they were in bad taste intended to create a communal rift.
“The derogatory statement was an intentional move to create division among Keralites. His antipathy and intolerance were quite evident in his venomous words,” the minister said in her letter, and sought strict action against the teacher. Many teachers, student outfits and writers have deplored his post.
After Pandey’s comments went viral on social media, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) on Wednesday alleged that top scorers from the Kerala state board were being denied admission on flimsy grounds by various Delhi University colleges.
The Delhi University on Thursday said that the university equally values the academic credentials of all students. “The University of Delhi strongly refutes and condemns the falsity of news which is being circulated regarding favouring candidates from a few boards,” DU Registrar Vikas Gupta said in a statement on Thursday.
Pandey is a member of RSS-backed National Democratic Teachers Front (NDTF). In a statement last week, the NDTF distanced itself from Pandey’s comments. “NDTF has nothing to do with views expressed by any individual on any state secondary board. NDTF unambiguously dissociates itself from any objectionable statement,” it said.