'Vemula, Dabholkar, Kalburgi': Goa ABVP Threatens Action Against 'Anti-Religious' Lectures

ABVP's Konkan joint unit secretary Prabha Naik has written to VM Salgaocar College of Law saying that if action is not taken in 24 hours, the group will begin a "severe agitation".

New Delhi: College teachers in Goa have come out in support of Shilpa Singh, an assistant professor of political science, who has been threatened by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad for topics she teaches on.

The students’ wing of the RSS, the ABVP had, according to a report by Indian Express, complained to the authorities of the VM Salgaocar College of Law where Singh teaches, that she “promotes socially hateful thoughts about a particular religion, community and group of people”.

ABVP’s Konkan joint unit secretary Prabha Naik has written that if action is not taken in 24 hours, the group will begin a “severe agitation” and take the matter to the police. To Express, Naik said her teachings had been ‘anti-religious’.

Singh told Express that ABVP members had verbally told her that they found four topics. “I was informed that they had issues with my teachings of Manusmriti and were not comfortable bringing Rohith Vemula, M.M. Kalburgi and (Narendra) Dabholkar into my teachings. They also had issues with a response to a particular query on beef that I seem to have shared,” she was quoted as having said.

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A young scholar at the University of Hyderabad, Rohith Vemula, a Dalit student and a PhD candidate, had been suspended along with four others after a complaint by the local unit of the ABVP. He died by suicide.

Narendra Dabholkar and M.M. Kalburgi were both rationalists and were killed by rightwing terrorists belonging to the same group that killed Gauri Lankesh.

The college has formed a grievance committee which will hear Singh. Fellow professors across colleges have urged the college to hear her fairly. “The grievance committee is for students of this college. This is a third party and we do not appreciate this manner of complaint. In the letter, they have not expressed what was anti-religion,” grievance committee member M.R.K. Prasad told the newspaper.

To Express, Singh has given details on the scope and measure of the topics she has chosen and how she dealt with them in a manner that would prove beneficial to law students.