A day after ABVP students protested against Lucknow University’s Prof Rajesh Misra for sharing an article on Umar Khalid, the JNU student booked for sedition, the university administration Thursday sought an explanation from him, even as the professor maintained that he had liked the “distinctly appealing idea” of the article.
“We have sent a letter to the professor concerned to explain his stand on the controversy. The letter has been sent by the university registrar, and further step will be based on his reply,” Vice-Chancellor Prof S B Nimse told The Indian Express.
The V-C said he would examine the reply on Friday morning: “I had promised to uncover the truth, and we will have to wait for the reply first,” he said.
The article, “Umar Khalid, my son”, written by Delhi University professor Apoorvanand, had appeared in The Indian Express on Tuesday. Misra, a professor of Lucknow University’s Sociology Department, had shared it on Facebook. After snapshots of the Facebook post were circulated on social media on Wednesday morning, ABVP-affiliated students burnt Misra’s effigy, disrupted classes and threatened to launch a more aggressive protest unless the university took action against him.
Misra said he had submitted his reply to the university but could not take classes since there were hardly any students.
He said, “I accept I shared it but I did not write it.” Explaining why he shared the article, Misra said, “I liked the distinctly appealing idea of the write-up: it talks about owning our children and students who rebel. I believe every intellectual mind would accept it and that freedom of expression is a must for any new idea.”
He said that the writer, Prof Apoorvanand, had called him up on Thursday morning to ask about Wednesday’s incident.
Anurag Tiwari of ABVP, who had led the protests on Wednesday, said, “We have given the university 24 hours. We will ask the administration on Friday morning what steps they have taken. Our agitation will begin again if their response is not satisfactory.”