The incident took place at the Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), Manipal and the college has initiated a probe.

Lecturer talking to student
news Controversy Monday, November 28, 2022 - 16:29

“26/11 was not funny. Being a Muslim in this country and facing all this everyday is not funny, sir,” said a Muslim student to a lecturer who referred to him by a terrorist’s name. The video of the student confronting his lecturer for calling him by a terrorist's name in the classroom is doing rounds on social media. In the 45-second video, the student wearing a blue kurta is seen questioning the lecturer in the classroom. The incident took place at the Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) in Udupi district of Karnataka. The college has said it has initiated a probe and debarred the lecturer from taking classes till the enquiry is over.

The video starts with the student saying, “You can’t joke about my religion, that too in such a derogatory manner,” to which the lecturer responds that the student is just like his son. The student further says that if his father said something like that, he would disown him. He goes on to say that the 26/11 Mumbai attacks were not funny, “It’s not funny sir, it’s not. 26/11 was not funny. Being a Muslim in this country and facing all this every day is not funny. Will you talk to your son like that? Will you call him by the name of a terrorist?”

The lecturer is heard saying, “You are just like my son, no.” The student questions the lecturer asking if he would talk to his son like that. “Will you talk to your son like that? Will you call him by the name of a terrorist?” The lecturer responds with a no.

Further, the student questions how the teacher could call him by a terrorist’s name. “Then how can you call me like that in front of so many people? You are a professional, you are teaching.” The lecturer is heard apologising in the background. The video ends with the student saying, “A sorry doesn’t change how you think or how you portray yourself here.”

When TNM reached out to Manipal Academy of Higher Education about the controversy, Director of Public Relations SP Kar acknowledged that the incident took place at the Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), adding that the institution condemned the behaviour of the lecturer. “He has been barred from taking any further classes. An enquiry team has been formed to probe the incident,” he said.

A screenshot of a WhatsApp chat, claimed to be a statement from the student, is also being circulated online. The chat states that the lecturer had called the student Kasab. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab was a terrorist involved in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed. “The reason behind this was him calling me by an unacceptable name, ‘Kasab,’ one of the biggest terrorists this country has ever seen,” the chat reads. He points out that the lecturer said that it was a joke and that it was unacceptable. “However, I had a conversation with the lecturer and realised that he genuinely meant that apology.” He further asked students to let it go as a “genuine mistake but such a remark came across wrong from a teacher, a person we admire, but it can be ignored this time.”

Earlier Jaggi Vasudev, founder of the Isha Foundation, was forced to issue a clarification after he referred to a Muslim student at the London School of Economics as a “proper Talibani”. In a conversation, Bilal, a student of Pakistani origin, told Jaggi Vasudev about how he viewed life and stress. He said, “The night you are meant to spend in the grave, you won’t be spending it outside anyways.” To which Jaggi Vasudev (jokingly) responded, “This guy is a proper Taliban here.” After the LSE Student Union demanded that Jaggi Vasudev apologise for the islamophobic comments, he issued a clarification and claimed that the word Taliban was used in India as meaning ‘over-enthusiastic’ and also alleged that the video of the incident had been ‘mischievously edited’.

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