Shouldn’t have been a big issue: Karnataka min over MIT Islamophobic ‘joke’

A young Muslim student was taken aback after being allegedly addressed as Mumbai 26/11 terrorist, Ajmal Kasab, by his professor during a session.

A day after a Muslim student’s outburst over a casual ‘Islamophobic’ remark made by his professor at the Manipal Institute of Engineering College (MIT), Karnataka state education minister B C Nagesh remarked that the incident was blown out of proportion.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Nagesh said it was unfortunate the incident happened and the government has taken steps by suspending the concerned professor.

“The government took necessary action on that (the incident). The teacher has been suspended. The third thing what I am saying is (pause)…. We generally use the name of Ravana (a Hindu mythological demon character from Ramayana), ‘Why do you behave like Ravana?’; ‘Why do you behave like Shakuni (a Hindu mythological character from Mahabharata)’ (pauses)…. Why it doesn’t become serious? Is Ravana a positive character? (pauses)…. It is not. When such names have been used (pauses)…. it should not have been made such a big issue,” Nagesh said.

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What happened at MIT Manipal?

On Monday a young Muslim student was taken aback after being allegedly addressed as Ajmal Kasab, (the Pakistani terrorist behind Mumbai 26/11 attacks) by his professor during a session.

When the stressed-out student, whose name has not been mentioned, questioned his teacher, the latter casually said it was a joke.

“These jokes are not acceptable. No! You can’t joke about my religion..that too in such a terrible manner,” the student said.

The professor, trying to damage control the situation said, “It is a funny thing.”

This upset the student even further who replied, “No sir, It is not a funny thing. 26/11 was not funny. Islamic terrorism is not funny. Being a Muslim in this country and facing all this every day is not funny.”

The video was recorded by a classmate and quickly went viral creating ripple effects in the country. Angry reactions started pouring in calling it ‘bigotry’ on the face. A lot of support followed for the student for showing courage and fighting back against the Islamophobia that scores of Muslims endure on daily basis.

MIT was quick to react by issuing a statement stating that an inquiry has been set up and the concerned professor was debarred from classes till the inquiry was over.

MIT posted the notice on its official Twitter page where it clarified that it was an isolated incident and the institution does not condone such behaviour.

“The institute prides itself with one of the biggest diversity on campus and is committed to uphold our constitutional values of treating everyone alike, irrespective of their caste, religion, region, gender etc,” the statement said.

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