New Delhi : Extremely upset over the government’s action against the JNU students, former professor Chaman Lal on Friday returned the ‘Hinditar Bhashi Hindi Lekhak Puraskar’ while lashing out at Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani for attempting to destroy the varsity’s reputation.
The retired professor has also returned the award money, a cheque of Rs. 50,000, to the HRD Ministry by post.
“It is a burden on my conscience. I am disturbed, restless and troubled ever since this JNU row began. The incidents that followed Kanhaiya’s arrest on February 12, the action by the police and the government, are very disturbing,” Lal told ANI here.
“This award was given to me directly by the HRD Ministry. It was given to me by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the presence of (Murli Manohar) Joshi ji. I am returning this because the HRD Minister hates JNU and she wants to destroy JNU,” he added.
The professor, however, said that he was not the defending anti-national slogans that were raised in the JNU campus.
“The JNU students cannot do it. It must have been done by some outsiders,” he said.
The HRD Minister had yesterday defended the action against the JNU students, saying Kanhaiya Kumar and some other students had been found indulging in ‘anti-national’ activities by the authorities themselves.
Irani, while linking JNU incident with violation of freedom of speech, brought up the topic of ‘Mahishasur Martyrdom Day’.
“What is Mahishasur Martyrdom Day, madam speaker? Our government has been accused. I miss today Sugata Bose and Saugata Roy in the House – champions of free speech, because I want to know if they will discuss this particular topic which I am about to enunciate in the House, on the streets of Kolkata. I dare them this,” she said in the Rajya Sabha yesterday.
“Durga Puja is the most controversial racial festival, where a fair-skinned beautiful goddess Durga is depicted brutally killing a dark-skinned native called Mahishasur. Mahishasur, a brave self-respecting leader, tricked into marriage by Aryans. They hired a sex worker called Durga, who enticed Mahishasur into marriage and killed him after nine nights of honeymooning during sleep,” she added. (ANI)