In a test paper the professor had asked about the new objectives being thrust on public universities due to saffronisation of education.

ABVP leader abuses Dalit HCU professor on Facebook for exam question on saffronisationFacebook/ Karan Palsaniya
news Controversy Tuesday, January 09, 2018 - 18:28

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) national co-convenor Karan Palsaniya alias Kaluram Palsaniya, a PhD student from the University of Hyderabad, created a controversy by abusing a Dalit professor for asking a question about saffronisation in public universities in his test paper.

Economics professor K Laxminarayana, in his test paper ‘Economics of Education’ for third semester students, asked: “What is the fundamental objective of a Public University? What are the new objectives being thrusted on the Public University because of Privatization and Saffronisation of education?”

Taking objection to the question, Palsaniya abused the professor on the University’s Facebook page saying, “Bastard Laxminarayana now preaching what is saffronisation. He even don’t know basics of Economics and now preaching about Saffronisation. He has became professor only because of his blackmailing tricks.” (sic)

Subsequently, the professor filed a complaint with the University’s Vice-Chancellor.

The professor is also being accused by the ABVP of being a Naxalite with his alleged open support to the Naxal movement.

Laxminarayana is the former president of the University of Hyderabad Teachers’ Association and it was he who spearheaded the Rohith Vemula protest on behalf of the SC/ST Teachers’ Association.

To object against the abuse on the professor, the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) called for a protest on Tuesday. However, the protest was postponed following the death of a student who passed away in a car accident.

ASA alleges that ABVP has resorted to attacking the professor as he was the vanguard of the Rohith Vemula movement amongst the teachers.

The professor had recently written a scathing article against Justice Roopanwal, who in his report had declared that Rohith Vemula did not commit suicide due to pressure exterted by officials.

The Justice Roopanwal Commission was appointed to probe the suicide of Rohith Vemula, a Dalit PhD student who had committed suicide in the campus following his expulsion along with four students from the hostels. Rohith’s Dalit identity is still under scrutiny.

Speaking to TNM, the professor said, “This person (Palsaniya) is not from my class. I am surprised that he’s a national co-convenor. Is this what they (BJP) teach to their cadre?”

He lamented that the ABVP has degenerated the discourse in the campus.

Speaking about the question which snowballed into a controversy, he said that there was nothing wrong being asked in the question paper.

“In my paper, one part deals with policies, commissions and reports. So the question was a contemporary one, about the present government’s educational policies.”

Agreeing to the ASA’s stand that the vitriolic statements made against him were because of his continued active participation in the Rohith Vemula movement, he said, “Even I feel that I am particularly targeted because of my stance.”

Dismissing the allegations that he was a Naxal sympathiser, he said, “If they had found my teachings wrong, they could have approached the heads of the university. These are frivolous allegations.”

He further questioned why prompt action wasn’t taken by the authorities despite the complaint given a month ago.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the university’s delay in taking action against the ABVP leader, Dontha Prashanth, an ASA leader, took to Facebook to say, “For no crime we were warned, then suspended, and later socially boycotted in an atrocious, illegal and unjust manner leading to the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula. Ten more students were suspended with a hurried illegal enquiry. But when ABVP National Co-Convenor abuses a Professor in an utmost derogatory and atrocious manner, all efforts are made to shield him by Podile Appa Rao owing to his affiliation to his parent organisation ABVP and serving the interests of BJP in facilitating targetted attacks on Dalits.”

Prashanth was one of the five Dalit students who was suspended along with Rohith for allegedly assaulting an ABVP leader.

University spokesperson Prof Vinod Pavarala said that there was a delay in hearing the complaint because of the winter vacation. The complaint was filed on November 30.

Meanwhile, Palsaniya remained unavailable to comment on the issue.