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DU Professor Who Sparked Row After ‘Marks Jihad’ Comment Says His Statement is Being ‘Twisted’

Rakesh Kumar Pandey, the Physics professor from Delhi University’s Kirori Mal College, whose comments sparked protests and received condemnation from various political prominents, has again taken to social media to defend his stance amidst the ruckus. Pandey, in a Facebook post, shared on October 5, coined the term, ‘Marks Jihad,’ citing the proliferated influx of Kerala Board students in the University of Delhi.

Sharing another post on his Facebook account, Pandey defended his stance and wrote, “I have maintained that the conspiracy behind the inexplicable surge in marks of students and the unnatural surge in the number of applications from Kerala Board is ideologically-driven and not religion-driven.” Pandey alleged the involvement of the government that is in power in Kerala at present, in “such an operation.”

Pandey added, “My statement is now being twisted by the same ideological conspirators to cover up the operation. They want to divert the attention from the real conspiracy by creating a religion-based controversy that had never intended to.”

With his remarks, Pandey drew scorns with multiple associations, including the All-India Students’ Association (AISA) and the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), who protested against the comments.

Amid the tussle, the RSS-affiliated National Democratic Teachers’ Front (NDTF) has released a statement breaking any alleged links with the comment made by the professor, who has also been a former president of the organization, reported The Indian Express. “NDTF has nothing to do with views expressed by any individual on any State Secondary Board. NDTF unambiguously dissociates itself from any objectionable statement,” it said in a statement.

The front also stressed the fabric of the university that ensures a transparent merit-based method of giving admission to students and that students from all states have an equal right to claim a seat in one of the best colleges in the country affiliated with Delhi University.

Kerela’s Education Minister, V Sivankutty, on Friday, condemned the silence of the varsity on the issue and demanded immediate action against Prof Pandey for the “highly communal” remarks made by him.

Pandey had shared the Facebook post saying that the Kerala state board gives extremely high marks to almost every student so that they can get a seat in colleges with high-cut off in Delhi University. Pandey called the allegedly prevalent system a planned and organised attempt.

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