BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter
New Delhi: Former MBA students of Jamia Millia Islamia have started an online signature campaign to urge the Vice-Chancellor of the university to reconsider his decision to oust a professor for his alleged ‘inflammatory remarks.’
Alumni of the Centre for Management Studies (CMS) expressed their “shock and grave concern” over the ‘hasty decision’ to “prosecute Mr Basu for libel and to terminate all future association” with him.
Professor Prahlad K Basu had allegedly said in his first lecture to the new MBA class, ‘this is a third class minority university…you are idiots…u all are all illiterate…why am I wasting my time here…’
He had allegedly also humiliated a girl who was veiled, calling her “black head.”
Prof. Basu, however, refuted all these allegations out rightly and alleged that he has been a “victim of internal politics” in the department.
In the online petition former students of CMS, “unanimously dismiss and condemn the idea that Prof. PK Basu was a communal person.”
The online petition was launched only last night and in less than 24 hours it already has more than 40 signatories, all of whom are former MBA students.
They have questioned the hasty decision and alleged internal politics’ and hostility among faculty members for the removal, “We believe there is more to it than meets the eye; which we, since we have experienced it, understand it better.”
Knowing their teacher well, these alumni claim that although they were not present in the class that day, they can vouch, “not once did we witness any differentiation being made on the basis of religion by our highly respected teacher.”
They add, “We fear that if a secular person like Prof. Basu is declared a communal, it will tarnish the secular image of Jamia Millia Islamia itself.”
The dismay is mainly because Prof, Basu, who was a guest lecturer at CMS, was not even given an opportunity to clarify his stand.
These students argued that if at all he said anything that students did not like he should have been asked to ‘tender an apology.’
Terminating him from ‘all future association’ appears too harsh and confirm malice against him, they alleged.
The petition further says, that as the incident happened in the first class of the new session itself, in all probability, the fresh batch of students are “not aware of his style of teaching”
They further urged: “In a class room free flow of ideas are important and students should be open and tolerant to all kinds of teaching styles.”
These students are “indebted” to Prof. Basu for where they stand together and termed it “a tragedy if the upcoming students are not giving a chance to gain from his vast knowledge and are devoid of this legacy.”