Jamia Millia Islamia University suspends Dr Abrar Ahmad, Assistant professor, who claimed he has failed 15 non-Muslim students for supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act. Abrar Ahmad, who is an assistant professor at the university, clarified that his post was a parody, and said no exams had taken place.
A controversial tweet by a Jamia Millia Islamia professor stating that he had “failed 15 non-Muslim students” in an exam led to a flurry of criticism, prompting the university to suspend him and order an inquiry against him on Thursday. Professor Dr Abrar Ahmed, however, said his tweet had been “misunderstood” and he had posted it as a “satire” on how minorities are being “targeted” by the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
“All my students r (are) passed except 15 non muslims, who’ve to re-appear #CAA. If you protest #CAAProtests, I have 55 students in my favour #caasupport. Majority will teach U lesson if protest not ends #riot. Due to #corona your symbols of protest be erased. I wonder why they hate me?” Ahmed said in a tweet on Wednesday. He later deleted the tweet.
Jamia on Thursday said it had suspended Ahmed for inciting communal disharmony. “Dr. Abrar Ahmad, Asstt Professor of @jmiu_official tweeted in public domain as to failing 15 non-muslim students in an exam. This is a serious misconduct inciting communal disharmony under CCS CONDUCT RULES. The university suspends him pending inquiry. @DrRPNishank @HRDMinistry,” the varsity said in a tweet.
In a social media post, Ahmed said his tweet was “misinterpreted” and “misunderstood”. “It was a Satire, Parody, a co-relation to explain how Minorities are being targeted by CAA and it would as Bad as a teacher saying that all minority students are failed and have to reappear,” he said.
He added that no such examination had been conducted during this session and all students had passed in the exams held in the previous semester. Ahmed said, “The only mistake I have done is to accommodate so many concepts in so less words (Twitter limit), and this Satire or Sarcasm has been taken in sense that was not intended.” He said he has been teaching for over 12 years and no student has ever complained of discrimination against him.
“Now, since university has ordered an enquiry in this issue, everything will be clear soon,” he added. The CAA allows easier citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis and Jains who came to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh before 2015 to escape religious persecution there.
Muslim migrants don’t figure in this list. Those opposing the CAA contend that it discriminates on the basis of religion and violates the Constitution. They also allege that the CAA along with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is intended to target the Muslim community in India.
However, the central government has dismissed the allegations, maintaining that the law is intended to give citizenship to the persecuted minorities from the three neighbouring countries and not to take away anyone’s citizenship.
He also threatened the 15 non-Muslim students in his class that he enjoys the support of 55 students and if they did not give up protesting against the anti-CAA protests, the majority of the class i.e 55 students will teach them a lesson through riots. “Professors know the roll numbers and we have to put them on mark sheets. So it is easy for them to identify non-Muslim students,” a source in Jamia said.
However, spooked by the criticism over his tweet which showed discriminatory behaviour, Ahmad soon retracted his statement and said that his tweet was ‘parody’.
He, apparently, claims he was trying to ‘explain’ how CAA is discriminatory towards a community. Here, it should be noted that CAA is not applicable to Indian citizens. CAA only fast-tracks Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from three neighbouring Islamic countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Muslims of these countries, too, could obtain Indian citizenship, should they so wish, by following the regular procedures. So one really is baffled about the ‘discrimination’ Ahmad is talking about.
Meanwhile, the Jamia administration has suspended him pending inquiry.
Students of Jamia university have strongly opposed the Citizenship Amendment Act and staged protests against it. One such protest had led to police brutality on the campus in December last year. Later, shocking videos emerged of the Delhi Police barging into the university’s library and using force on students.