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‘Kerala students infiltrating DU, this is marks jihad’: Prof’s campaign sparks political row

Prof. Rakesh Pandey from DU's Kirori Mal College says there has been an 'infiltration of students from Kerala', calls it 'organised missionary-type development'.

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New Delhi: After ‘love jihad’ and ‘narcotics jihad’, it’s ‘marks jihad’.

Amid the ongoing admission process at the Delhi University, a professor has started an online campaign against “over-admission” of students from Kerala in the university, alleging that there is a “Leftist-jihadi conspiracy” behind it.

“A college had to admit 26 students in a course having 20 seats only because they all had 100 percent marks from Kerala board. For last few years, Kerala board is implementing -#MarksJihad,” Rakesh Pandey, physics professor at DU’s Kirori Mal College, posted on Facebook earlier this week.

Speaking to ThePrint, Pandey said there has been an “infiltration of students from Kerala in DU”.

“This is a trend we have been noticing. Kerala boards give very high marks, almost every student who comes from Kerala to seek admission in DU has 100 per cent marks. So they cannot be denied admission, they are almost guaranteed an admission,” Pandey said.

“Most of them can’t converse in English or Hindi — the primary languages used in DU. Teachers here can’t speak in Malayalam. So then why do they come here? I think it’s a conspiracy,” he added.

Pandey alleged that this “over-admission” of students from Kerala in DU is “by design”.

“This is an organised missionary-type development. They want to come here and spread their jihadi and Leftist propaganda. Kerala has been a hotbed of jihadi and Leftist activities, so this is a perfect way for them to spread their ideology,” he alleged.

Pandey, a former president of an RSS-linked teachers’ body National Democratic Teachers Front, added that the way the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) was “captured” by people from Kerala, a similar attempt is being made towards DU.

“This needs to be put an end to, we need to amend our admission criteria somehow to not allow this,” he said.

In September, a bishop in Kerala had created ripples with his statement alleging a “narcotics jihad” conspiracy, after the church had been pushing forth a narrative against “love jihad”.

Also read: 7 Delhi University colleges declare 100% cut-off in 11 subjects

DU denies ‘discrimination’ charges

The RSS’ student wing — Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) — also raked up the issue of “state boards’ inflated results” and staged protests earlier this week.

Pandey’s remarks, followed by ABVP’s protests, have created a political controversy, with the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) — the student wing of the CPI(M) — calling them “racist and communal” moves.

“The statement made by him (Pandey) makes the environment in DU for students from Kerala and all of South India very unwelcoming,” Akhil K.M., convener and Delhi state committee member of the SFI, told ThePrint.

“This has very clear racist and communal overtones,” he added.

The ABVP, however, said its protest is about all state boards giving inflated marks, and not one board in particular.

“Our issue is that when state boards inflate the marks to this extent, many other students end up suffering. This isn’t about any one state board specifically,” Sidharth Yadav, ABVP’s media convener told ThePrint.

The SFI also alleged that some students from Kerala are being “discriminated against based on their board”.

“DU is bound to admit students satisfying all the eligibility criteria, it is a matter of shame that applicants are being discriminated against based on their board, while the hard work put in by the applicants from these varying boards are the same,” SFI said in a statement Wednesday.

However, the university has denied these allegations.

Vikas Gupta, the registrar of Delhi University, denied any discrimination against students from Kerala during admission, or of “over-admission” of students from the state.

“There is no discrimination against or over-admission of students from Kerala or any state board. We are very clear that our eligibility criteria is uniform for everyone. There is no basis to these allegations,” Gupta told ThePrint.

According to a statement released by the DU registrar’s office Thursday, while 2,365 students from the Kerala board have been admitted to DU this year so far, 3,1172 candidates from CBSE board have got admission. 1,540 students from the Haryana board, and 1,301 from the Rajasthan board had also got admission in DU this year, besides those from other boards.

“The University of Delhi strongly refutes and condemns the falsity of news which is being circulated regarding favouring candidates from a few boards,” the statement said.

(Edited by Neha Mahajan)

Also read: Less Bard, more Batman, Mahabharata & Dalit studies — 10-yr makeover of English Literature at DU


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