Published: 04th November 2020
Why trigger a row now? : IIMC Director General over appointment of prof who called Gandhi the 'Father of Pakistan'
Anil Kumar Saumitra, the former Madhya Pradesh BJP IT Cell chief was suspended from the party after he called Mahatma Gandhi the 'Father of Pakistan'
"He was the father of the nation, but of Pakistan. The country had crores of sons like him, some were worthy, some unworthy," Anil Saumitra, a little over a year ago, wrote on his Facebook wall about Mahatma Gandhi. At that time, he was the head of the Madhya Pradesh BJP Media Cell. Undoubtedly, this had stirred up a controversy, which led to the ruling party suspending his primary membership in May 2019.
Saumitra made it to the news a week back when reports of him being appointed as a professor of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication came out, creating a lot of hue and cry. The government-run media institute, however, was quite unfazed by it. "The said incident happened in the past. It did not happen after he took charge as an IIMC professor," said IIMC's recently appointed Director General Sanjay Dwivedi. "Why should it be a big deal or create a controversy?" he asked, adding that the issue is over.
Saumitra did not respond to the calls made to him seeking comment on this issue. While talking to NDTV after his Facebook post created a controversy, he said, "Nobody known or unknown has the honour of being the father of India. So Mahatma Gandhi could be the father of the nation but of Pakistan. Everyone is proud to be the son of the Indian motherland." Prior to the 2019 incident, he triggered a row in 2013, when the magazine Charaiveti ran an article alleging the church of molesting nuns. Saumitra was the magazine's editor at that time.
The appointment has reportedly been criticised by various IIMC alumni and academics.