Journalism university sacks professor for remark against photo of RSS men manning Telengana police check

The photo of RSS members manning a police check post on a highway in Yadadri Bhongir district of Telengana during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown had gone viral on social media on April 12

Photo Courtesy: Twitter
Photo Courtesy: Twitter

Kashif Kakvi

The Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Mass Communication (MCUNUJC), a premier institute of journalism, on Thursday sacked an adjunct professor for criticising the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) on social media.

The university fired Mukesh Kumar for his comment on a photo of RSS men armed with sticks manning a police check post in Telegana and checking vehicles.

The photo of RSS members manning a police check post on a highway in Yadadri Bhongir district of Telengana during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown went viral on April 12 and several news channels also reported the issue. Soon after, netizens began raising questions on the authority of the RSS men. Later, the state police also expressed its disappointment over the photo.

After the photo went viral, Professor Mukesh Kumar took a dig at it on Facebook. He wrote, “Can we talk about these jaahil (illiterate) who are on roads with sticks in their hands and khaki pants playing role of cops. Are they above Constitution, law and the country?" However, Kumar later deleted the post after backlash from ABVP members.

A senior journalist and former dean of Shree Guru Gobind Singh Tricentenary University, Gurugram, Mukesh Kumar joined the University in July 2019 as an adjunct professor and used to teach the students of Electronic Media Department at the University’s Noida campus. He is also associated with an online website, Satya Hindi.

In the termination letter issued on April 16, the University said, “Upon the evaluation of professors’ strength in the Noida campus, the university decided that the services of adjunct professor Mukesh Kumar are no longer needed. So, it’s informed that his services have been discontinued from April 17, 2020.”

When contacted, the professor said, “This is a well-known fact that the University is a den of the RSS and the BJP. Ever since I joined it, they have been targeting me because I criticise the policies of the Modi government. I oppose the Hindutva agenda of the RSS and the BJP.”

“They have no valid reason to sack me because I’m in this profession for decades and none of my students ever complained about my teaching ability. They had also targeted me in December 2019 for sharing a news article of The Hindu, which was about the eating beef,” Kumar added.

“I have been sacked because I criticise Modi, the BJP and the RSS,” he alleged.

Commenting over the issue, Registrar of the University, Deependra Singh Baghel confirmed the development and said that a complaint against Professor Kumar was received. "He was a guest faculty here and his services will not be taken by the university anymore."

It is worth mentioning that in December 2019, the University had terminated the services of senior journalist and Dalit right activist professor Dilip Mandal for allegedly promoting casteism in the campus. Mandal was also critical of the BJP and the RSS.

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