It is sad but not uncommon to find growing intolerance for other communities in our country. There is more religious and political polarization than ever, and it is harming the very soul of democracy. However, the one sector that we could say was not as affected by this negativity was the education sector.
No matter which caste, religion, state, or financial background one belongs to, it is officially illegal to deny the right to education to them. Every student is equal and there shall be no discrimination within the walls of a classroom.
DU Professor’s Marks Jihad Remark Against Kerala Students
However, now even the sanctity of a classroom seems to have been violated by this DU professor. Rakesh Kumar Pandey is a professor of Physics at Kirori Mal College of Delhi University. He is also a member of a right-wing teachers’ group, National Democratic Teachers’ Front (NDTF).
On Monday, he added a post on Facebook reading,
A college had to admit 26 students in a course having 20 seats only because they all had 100 percent marks from Kerala board. For last few years, Kerala board is implementing – #MarksJihad
“This is a trend we have been noticing. Kerala boards give very high marks, almost every student who comes from Kerala to seek admission in DU has 100 per cent marks. So they cannot be denied admission, they are almost guaranteed an admission,” he said.
“Most of them can’t converse in English or Hindi — the primary languages used in DU. Teachers here can’t speak in Malayalam. So then why do they come here? I think it’s a conspiracy. This is an organised missionary-type development.
They want to come here and spread their jihadi and Leftist propaganda. Kerala has been a hotbed of jihadi and Leftist activities, so this is a perfect way for them to spread their ideology,” he further added.
He also said that the entrance exam from next year would expose that it is a political propaganda.
Students of the university have decided to hold a protest today to demand an official apology from him. They expressed concerns over the safety of students of Kerala in the campus.
Shashi Tharoor Reacts
Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “The use of “jihad” as a synonym for any trend you don’t like is exceeding all limits: now a DU teacher has got attention by absurdly decrying #MarksJihad! I’ve always decried the over-reliance on marks as the main criterion for DU admission, but this is ridiculous.
If “Jihad” means a struggle (with yourself above all), the Kerala students scoring 100% have struggled against the odds to get to DU. Interview them first if you wish before letting them in, but don’t demonise their marks! This anti-Kerala bias must end now!“
Sneha Sarah Shaji, head of NSUI’s Kerala Student Fraternity said, “By using the word ‘Jihad’, he tried to portray the students of Kerala as terrorists. This is really unacceptable. More students from Kerala aspiring to learn at top Central Universities doesn’t make them marks jihadis!!”
The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-linked SFI (Students’ Federation of India) even said that Kerala students are denied admissions in colleges without any reason.
“It has come to our attention that certain colleges are rejecting applications without stating any substantial reason or withholding applications arbitrarily stating ‘clarifications to be sought from the university’.
DU is bound to admit students satisfying all the eligibility criteria, it is a matter of shame that applicants are being discriminated against based on their board.”
Why Is The Marks Jihad Remark Problematic?
It is true that Kerala students score higher than other state boards or CBSE/ICSE students. But why? The Kerala board considers marks in both Class 11 and 12 to calculate the final percentage.
But for DU admissions, their class 12th marks are seen separately. So, even if their actual score (11-12th combined) is lower, it is high when seen individually for class 12th.
On October 4th, the DU admission committee halted the admission process to discuss this issue, but concluded that they cannot change the system for 1 state like this. This has students from other boards worried as a considerable number of seats are taken up by Kerala students.
But, in no way is this the students’ fault. Equating them to Jihad is distasteful and based purely out of intolerance towards the community. There needs to be a uniformity in the system, but there is no need to use such strong words like ‘jihad’.
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This post is tagged under: marks Jihad, kirori mal college, delhi university, discrimination, kerala students, kerala, 100% marks, du admissions, high cutoff, kerala board, kerala education, education system, cbse, intolerance, hatred, shashi tharoor, students’ federation of india, 12th marks, DU seats, limited seats in DU, admission season