Published: 01st October 2022
Read Constitution, Hindu Code Bill instead of fasting: Varanasi Uni guest lecturer posts on social media, gets sacked
Officials cited "widespread resentment" among students against the professor for the action taken by the university
The Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, has dismissed a guest lecturer and banned his entry "in view of the university atmosphere getting vitiated and examinations affected" after he wrote on social media that women should read the Constitution and the Hindu Code Bill "instead of fasting for nine days during navratra".
Registrar Sunita Pandey said the action was taken after students complained about Mithilesh Kumar Gautam, the guest lecturer, through a letter, as stated in a report by PTI. In his social media post in Hindi, Gautam had written, "For women, it is better to read the Constitution of India and the Hindu Code Bill instead of fasting for nine days during Navratra. Their lives will be free from fear and slavery. Jai Bheem," as per PTI.
What did university authorities say?
In an office order, the Registrar said, "On September 29, students had complained through a letter stating that Dr Mithilesh Kumar Gautam, a guest lecturer in the Political Science department, had posted some material on social media, which is against Hindu religion."
She cited "widespread resentment" among students against Gautam for the action taken by the university. "...In view of the university atmosphere getting vitiated and examinations affected, I have been directed that Dr Mithilesh Kumar Gautam be dismissed with immediate effect and his entry into the university campus be banned in view of security," Pandey said in the order, as per PTI.
Gautam could not be contacted for comments despite repeated efforts. Anuj Srivastava, an office-bearer of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) said Gautam's comments were "wrong" and the university had taken an "appropriate step".
The other side
However, Lucknow University Associate Professor of Hindi Ravikant Chandan questioned the action. "I saw that post. There was nothing unconstitutional in it. Our Constitution says that there should be scientific India. We have the freedom of expression, and the post is related to freedom of women. It is a simple and ordinary post. Now, the question is whether logic ceases to exist in new India. Secondly, he (Mithilesh Kumar Gautam) is a Dalit teacher," Chandan told PTI.
"First they (apparently referring to the BJP) had attacked Muslims and now they are targeting Dalit activists, teachers and social workers. And this is happening in educational institutes, because educated people are there. Nobody will ask how many hours a teacher has taught," he said, as per PTI.