NIT-C professor faces backlash for praising Gandhi’s killer

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A woman professor of the National Institute of Technology-Calicut (NIT-C) has landed in trouble for her Facebook comment that expressed pride in Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. The professor, A Shaija, has been booked by the police and protested by various student organisations for her controversial remark.

Professor’s comment sparks outrage

Shaija, a senior faculty member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at NIT-C, posted a comment on Facebook on January 30, the death anniversary of Gandhi, saying “Proud of Godse for saving India”. She was commenting on a post by a lawyer, Krishna Raj, who posted Godse’s photograph captioning it “Hindu Mahasabha activist Nathuram Vinayak Godse, a hero of many in India”.

The comment soon went viral and drew sharp criticism from various quarters. Multiple complaints were lodged against Shaija in several police stations in the city by various student organisations, including SFI, KSU and MSF, following which an FIR was registered against her. IPC Section 153 (wantonly giving provocation with the intent to cause riot) was invoked against the professor. Kunnamangalam and Nadakkavu police stations were among those where complaints were filed against her.

ABVP demands action against professor

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the BJP, staged a protest march to the NIT-C campus on Monday, seeking action against the professor for insulting the Father of the Nation. ABVP activists marched to the institution and burnt an effigy of Godse. They also raised slogans against the professor and demanded her suspension.

NIT-C professor faces backlash

“The professor posted something which is insulting the Father of the nation and praising Godse who assassinated him,” a student leader said while addressing the ABVP activists. He added that they will file a complaint with the University Grants Commission (UGC) against Shaija.

Kerala Minister slams professor’s remark

Kerala Higher Education Minister R Bindhu also slammed the professor’s remark and termed it “ingratitude” and an “insult” to Gandhi. Responding to the development, Bindhu said that no other country had witnessed the cruel assassination of its “Father of the Nation” like in India.

“It (Gandhiji’s assassination) was in fact a wound in the heart of India. There is no greater ingratitude than glorifying it,” she said. She also said that teachers are responsible for instilling historical consciousness among students and that Shaija’s remark was an affront to the values of the nation.

NIT-C director assures probe

Meanwhile, the NIT-C director, Prasad Krishna, assured that a detailed investigation will be conducted into the matter and appropriate action will be taken against the professor. He said that he has instructed the registrar to seek an explanation from Shaija regarding her Facebook comment.

In response to a letter from Kozhikode MP MK Raghavan, the director said that he will convey the findings of the probe after taking further actions. He also said that the NIT-C campus, which was closed due to student conflicts over the Ram Temple issue, reopened on Monday.

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