Education

CPM MP questions suspension of university professor for remarks against Centre

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 22, 2021

Gilbert Sebastian, an assistant professor, was suspended after a complaint to the authorities from RSS-supported students outfit ABVP that he made critical remarks against the Centre while talking to students during an academic session. (A file photo of RSS volunteers)   -  HS Manjunath

The professor was suspended after a complaint to the authorities from RSS-supported students outfit ABVP

The Opposition party, CPI(M), has demanded the Centre to revoke suspension of an assistant professor in Central University of Kerala for his alleged critical remarks against the Union government during a classroom conversation.

CPI(M)’s member in Rajya Sabha V Sivadasan has written to HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishant that the suspension of Gilbert Sebastian, an assistant professor in the Department of International Relations and Politics, Central University of Kerala is unjust.”

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“The suspension of an academic for speaking from his perspective is tantamount to silencing free thinking and criticality. Education demands questioning of status quo as this is crucial for evolving responsible citizenship. Freedom of speech cannot be denied to teachers. This act of suspension curtails the intellectual freedom of academics. A classroom should be a space for open discussion- where heterogeneous ideas take root,” Sivadasan said in the letter

He said such an action is a continuation of “multiple attacks on the academic institutions, teachers and students under this regime in different forms.”

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“This very act of suspension for raising a question, gives credence to the point raised by the Assistant Professor in his classroom – that we might be living under a proto-fascist regime,” he said, and urged the Union Minister to put an end to the attempts to constrain the academic freedom of Universities and places of higher learning.

Sebastian was suspended after a complaint to the authorities from RSS-supported students outfit ABVP that he made critical remarks against the Centre while talking to students during an academic session.

Published on May 22, 2021

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