Why has AMU professor’s lecture on ‘rape’ caused a furore?
The Aligarh Muslim University administration and the Faculty of Medicine on Wednesday suspended Assistant Professor Dr. Jitendra Kumar after a row erupted over his objectionable comments about Hindu deities and history during a class.
Kumar has also been booked by the police. A case has been registered at the Civil Lines police station in connection with the “inflammatory content” of his presentation during the class on Tuesday.
Dr. Jitendra Kumar assistant professor of the department of forensic medicine at JN Medical College attached to the Aligarh Muslim University was teaching about sexual offences in his classroom. In the PowerPoint presentation he used to explain the topic, Dr. Kumar made derogatory references to Hindu deities. Summarizing a brief history of rape, he linked rape to Hindu deities.
The photograph of the slide (Image 1) that went viral read bullet points viz. Rape – Historical perspective (India), Story of Brahma raping his daughter, Indra impersonation of Rishi Gautam and raping his wife, Lord Vishnu raping the wife of King Jalandhar, Different types of marriage as per Hindu traditions, Two main cases that drastically changed rape laws in India – Mathura rape case and Nirbhaya rape case.
The professor has also been issued a show-cause notice by the university for hurting religious sentiments “in the content of a slide on the mythical reference of rape” during the class.
Assistant Professor Dr. Jitendra Kumar was suspended after he was found to have indulged in “misconduct” based on prima facie facts. “He has been asked to submit a reply explaining his behavior. Meanwhile, we have suspended him,” said Shafe Kidwai, in charge of Public Relations at AMU.
Omar Peerzada, Professor at AMU said, “On the basis of prima facie evidence of misconduct and seriousness of the matter, Asst Prof in Dept of Forensic Medicine Dr. Jitendra Kumar has been placed under suspension till pending inquiry. He has also been served a show-cause notice. Further action will depend on his reply.”
Peerzada further stated that the Aligarh Muslim University has a zero-tolerance policy.
Kumar has issued an “unconditional apology”.
In a statement, Circle Officer Shwetabh Pandey said, “It came to our knowledge that Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College assistant professor Dr. Jitendra Kumar had used a PowerPoint presentation with objectionable language hurting religious sentiments. Based on a complaint from Dr. Nishesh Sharma, an FIR has been lodged against him under several IPC sections.”
“We received complaints from some students and the screenshots of the lecture presentation went viral on social media. We took the matter very seriously and issued a show-cause. After a preliminary inquiry, it was found he had indulged in misconduct and we suspended him. Further action will be taken based on the reply filed by the assistant professor,” said Kidwai.
An AMU official said that during a lecture for the department covering the subject of rape on Tuesday, Kumar had used references to certain Hindu gods like Lord Brahma and Lord Indra. “He had also made some references to the Nirbhaya gangrape case. Students took objection to the references made to Hindu gods,” said the official.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the AMU said, “The AMU administration and faculty today strongly condemned the content of a slide on the mythical reference of rape and issued a show-cause notice to Dr. Jitendra Kumar for hurting the religious sentiments of the students, staff, and citizens. He has been asked to submit his reply in 24 hours.”
The varsity has also formed a two-member committee to probe the incident and to “suggest steps so that such incidents are not repeated”.
AMU tweeted, “AMU suspends Dr. Jitendra Kumar In view of the prima facie misconduct and seriousness of the matter, Dr. Jitendra has been suspended from service till the completion of the investigation. Further action will be taken on the basis of reply to show cause notice issued to Dr. Kumar.”
एएमयू ने डॉ जितेंद्र कुमार को किया निलंबित
प्रथम दृष्टया मिसकंडक्ट और मामले की गंभीरता को देखते हुए डा जितेंद्र को जांच पूरी होने तक सेवा से निलंबित कर दिया है
डा कुमार को जारी कारण बताओ नोटिस के जवाब के आधार पर आगे की कार्रवाई की जाएगी @PIBHRD @dpradhanbjp @ProfTariqManso1 @ANI pic.twitter.com/nSjresfllb
— Aligarh Muslim University (@AMUofficialPRO) April 6, 2022
Following the incident, Dr. Jitendra Kumar tendered an unconditional apology. In a letter addressed to the vice-chancellor of the university, the professor said, “I write to say tender my unconditional apologies for making certain derogatory mythical references on rape in my class (3rd Year MBBS 2019 Batch) on 05.04.2022 at 8 am on the topic of sexual offences.”
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