Published: 08th October 2021
Leftist, jihadi forces from Kerala out to malign DU: Prof Rakesh Pandey stands by his controversial 'Marks Jihad' comment
When top-ranked DU colleges including Hansraj College and the Lady Sri Ram College for Women announced a 100 per cent cut-off, criticisms rose against this across the country
Kya galat kahan hai maine, (What was wrong in what I said?) asks Dr Rakesh Kumar Pandey. Pandey has been a professor of Physics at the University of Delhi's Kirori Mal College. Now, what exactly did he say that has caught the nation's attention? Almost everyone who has been reading the newspapers would know the answer.
A week back, a few DU colleges announced a 100 per cent cut-off for their courses and reports had said that students who had graduated from Kerala State Board schools with centums in their Class XII board examinations, secured most seats. An ostensibly irked Pandey took to his Facebook page to write, "A college had to admit 26 students in a course having 20 seats only because they all had 100 per cent marks from Kerala board. For the last few years, the Kerala board is implementing #MarksJihad."
This, obviously sparked off a controversy.
But the truth is that Pandey doesn't regret saying this. In fact, he reiterates his statement multiple times. "You may know what Love Jihad is. That is when someone uses love to propagate their ideology and religion. Similarly, leftist and jihadi forces from Kerala have joined hands to manipulate marks to ensure that students who profess their propaganda enter DU colleges and malign them," he says. "Why else is the Kerala Board giving 100 per cent marks to a large number of students?" he asks. However, he quickly clarifies that he isn't blaming all students from Kerala. "There may be students who were actually worthy of the marks," he says.
When top-ranked DU colleges including Hansraj College and the Lady Sri Ram College for Women announced a 100 per cent cut-off, criticism came thick and fast. Pandey doesn't blame the colleges for this. Instead, he says, "What else could the colleges do? Every year, they receive applications from Kerala Board students who score such high marks. This is why I suspect that there is a lobby working towards this," he says, without a hint of remorse or regret. "Prove me wrong otherwise," he says.
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On the other hand, he says that he never taught a class where he had taught Kerala students with a perfect score in Class XII. "I teach Physics and it is impossible to secure full marks in Science subjects," he says.
Now, this is not the first time when Pandey had made this kind of comment. In December 2020, he wrote a post on his blog criticising the trend of Kerala Board students securing admission in DU colleges. "According to the sources, this year around 940 students have got admitted in Delhi University undergraduate courses with a perfect 100 per cent marks in their best four subjects. As a matter of fact, this number had jumped up from 150 odd in 2016 to 450 plus last year in 2019 itself but had gone unnoticed. What must surprise us is that out of the increase of 300 registered in 2019 about 205 were contributed only from Kerala Board. What should catch our attention further is that such applicants belonging to the Kerala Board and having a perfect score of 100% in the best four subjects, had exploded from a mere 3 in 2016 to 208 in 2019. But the explosion of numbers that happened for Kerala Board from 3 in 2016 to 208 in 2019 itself for reasons yet to be known must be analysed and investigated without further delay," he wrote.
After Pandey's comments sparked off a controversy, student groups including the Students' Federation of India and the National Students' Union of India staged protests against him. Unfazed, Pandey says, "If it agitates them so much, it means that there is truth in what I said. Now the next step is to expose those behind this lobby."
And so it continues.