Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Lucknow University professor shares piece on Umar Khalid, ABVP burns effigy, blocks class // Hard-line Iranian media outlets impose new $6,00,000 fatwa on Rushdie

NB: The vicious intimidation of a Lucknow University professor by the RSS front organisation merely for posting an article, is an indication of where the Sanghi's want to take us. Readers may judge whether our ultra-nationalists are any different from the murderous fanatics who demand Rushdie's blood year after year. The Sangh Parivar is stoking up a violent atmosphere on a daily basis to fulfil its project of transforming India into a theocracy with the RSS playing the role of the Ayatollahs. Good luck to us all! DS

Students affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) disrupted classes at the Lucknow University (LU) on Wednesday to protest against a professor who shared an article, “Umar Khalid, my son”, that appeared in The Indian Express on February 23, on his Facebook page. The article was written by columnist and Delhi University Professor Apoorvanand. Snapshots of Professor Rajesh Misra’s Facebook page, on which he had shared the article, were circulated on campus through social media. The students protested outside the Sociology Department, where Misra teaches, burnt his effigy, and demanded action against him. The ABVP student leaders also submitted a memorandum to Vice-Chancellor S B Nimse.

“The professor claims these were not his views and he shared the write-up of another professor published in a newspaper. But our point is that one shares things which he or she supports, and supporting anti-national elements would not be allowed here,” said ABVP leader Anurag Tiwari, who led the protest.

“The V-C has promised to investigate the issue and take action within 24 hours. Our next step will be decided on the basis of the action taken by the university,” he said. Denying that they had disrupted classes, he said: “We did not close classes. Instead, we just explained to students what their professor had done, and they agreed to come out on their own.” “Yesterday, I shared a write-up by Professor Apoorvanand of Delhi University published in The Indian Express on February 23 entitled ‘Umar Khalid, my son’, quoting some parts of it in inverted commas.

The post was essentially to uphold the freedom of democratic expression of ideas, irespective of political ideology, under all circumstances,” said Misra in a written statement. “Ironically, something very astonishing happened. Since morning, I have been receiving calls from friends, students and media to clarify my stand on the same… I have also come to know that a few have aggressively opposed me, even without talking to me or verifying the post. I agree that all the youths/ students belonging to every political outfit have a flame of rebel and aggression in them. More radical ones may have an inherent zeal to raise questions about the establishment and prevailing ideas. I understand and appreciate youths for their ideas,” he said.
“While I am totally against any slogans in favour of Afzal Guru’s extremist ideas, slogans which are pro-Pakistan or (about) breaking India into pieces, I am also of the view that every caution should be taken before declaring students as criminals, and their views should be sympathetically heard, else their whole life and career may be at stake,” he said. Speaking to The Indian Express, Misra, 62, who is on extension, said: “I have taught for about 36 years, and I am like a grandfather to all of them (students)… I have always respected and stood for freedom of students. I know Apoorvanand and when I read the article, I liked it and thus decided to share it.”

He added, “When student unions were banned, I supported the students at every official meeting. While I respect everyone’s opinion, I am ready to confront these students and explain. I am ready to face their anger, but not physically. I will also respect the university’s decision, if they decide not to give me further extension, because everyone has a right to their own opinion.” Meanwhile, another group of over 100 students of various hostels of LU staged a protest outside the main gate of the campus, raising slogans that they would not allow “anti-national activities” on the campus. Denying any political affiliation, these students said they wanted to show that they could unite against any “anti-national activity” on campus.

When contacted, Professor Nishi Pandey, Proctor, Lucknow University, said: “There were two different protests. One that happened inside was by the ABVP. The V-C has taken their memorandum and has told them that the university will investigate the issue in the next 24 hours. Another group of students wanted to sit on dharna over nationalism, but the university administration did not give them permission. So they are sitting outside the campus. She said no action has been taken against any student

Hard-line Iranian news media outlets have raised $6,00,000 to add to a bounty for the killing of Salman Rushdie, it emerged on Wednesday, 27 years after a death fatwa was issued by Iran’s former supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini over one of the India-born author’s controversial novels. A senior member of Fars news agency says the decree is a religious one and none can nullify it. About 40 organisations, including state-run media outlets, raised the sum to reinforce the religious edict calling for Mr. Rushdie’s assassination issued by Khomeini in 1989 on charges of blasphemy after the publication of The Satanic Verses.

“Religious fatwa stands”: “The fatwa against Salman Rushdie is a religious fatwa. Nobody in the world can nullify a religious fatwa. It has been, it is, and it will be,” a senior member of the editorial team at state-run Fars New Agency in Tehran told The Times. original fatwa against the 68-year-old British-Indian Booker Prize winner had caused international outcry, with the U.K. severing diplomatic ties with Iran for nearly a decade. was suspended in 1998 when Mohammad Khatami, the then President of Iran, announced that as a pre-condition to the restoration of ties with Britain, the Iranian state would “neither support nor hinder assassination operations“.

Declared by one “Mr. Amini” : The new bounty came to light in an account by an unnamed journalist at Fars of a digital media fair in Tehran. The story included a declaration by a man known as “Mr. Amini”, setting a bounty equivalent to $6,00,000, and listed 40 organisations, including NGOs and private donors, which had pledged the money,The Times reported., which pledged 100 million Tomans (23,500 pounds), was among the top three cash donors named on the list, which also included the Centre for Cultural and Science Research, Miqat Radio and the Iranian Centre for Training Journalists. A religious organisation called the 15 Khordad Foundation initially offered a USD 2.7 million reward to anyone carrying out the fatwa, then increased it to USD 3.3 million in 2012.

Total bounty $4 million: The new money brings the total bounty to nearly $4 million. Jo Glanville, director of English PEN, an organisation that defends freedom of expression and has worked with Mr. Rushdie for many years, said: “Given the new relations between Iran and the West, I think we rather hoped [the fatwa] might disappear.”In the early years of the fatwa, Mr. Rushdie was forced to go into hiding under police protection as bookshops across the world were destroyed and people associated with the translation or publication of his book were attacked. His son, Zafar Rushdie, who is also his publicist, declined to comment on the new bounty.

Symbolic gesture or…. Hardline organisations in Iran make symbolic gestures involving the Rushdie fatwa every year around its anniversary on February 14. But it’s unclear whether the bounty would really be paid.

Stand up for Salman Rushdie  JANUARY 19, 2012
Bringing down the fatwa wall  JANUARY 28, 2012