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Intolerance? MU Professor sent on ‘Force Leave’ for commenting against Rahul Gandhi’s Savarkar Jibe

The varsity students belonging to Chhatra Bharti Students' Union and All India Students Federation (AISF) was allegedly sitting on dharna against professor Soman for his strong words against Rahul Gandhi. It is speculated that varsity administration decided to put Soman on force leave to subsume the matter. However, the varsity administration in it's statement to media stated that there were complaints against Professor Soman and hence the action is taken.

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Yogesh Soman sent on force leave, Mumbai university prof Yogesh Soman sacked for commenting against Rahul Gandhi, prof Yogesh Soman against Rahul Gandhi
Prof. Yogesh Soman/Image tweeted by Prof. Yogesh Soman

Speaking against the former President of Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, brought a troublesome news for a senior professor of Mumbai University, on Wednesday, January 15. The senior professor and the Director of Academy of Theatre Arts at Mumbai University, Yogesh Soman, was sent on ‘forced leave’ for his alleged controversial comment against Rahul Gandhi in his video message posted on his Twitter as well as Facebook handle. It is, however, not known as to how many days the senior professor will have to be on forced leave.

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Professor Soman, through a video message, had condemned Rahul Gandhi’s controversial remark on the Indian independence activist Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, widely known as Veer Savarkar, an Indian freedom fighter, reformer and rationalist. Gandhi, in his Bharat Bachao rally in Delhi had, allegedly, made an objectionable comment on Veer Savarkar which the professor had opposed in his video. “I’m not Savarkar to apologise. True…Rahul you are really not Savarkar! because you have nothing similar to him,” Soman starts to speak in his video message.

“..neither you have sacrifice nor effulgence, neither you have logic nor restlessness, neither sharpness, nothing..Not only this but I also think, you are not even Gandhi..because you have nothing similar to even Gandhi ji.,” Soman could be heard saying in his video to take a jibe at Rahul Gandhi.

Towards the end of the video, Soman recalls the renaming of Nehru’s daughter, Indira, the former Prime Minister of India. “It is said that to convince the common people of India, Gandhi ji had given this name to your Grandma, Indira and Abba (father) Feroze (Khan). First learn that history lesson..Right now, you look like a drunken monkey..I condemn your Pappugiri because you don’t even deserve to pronounce the word Savarkar,” concluded Soman in Marathi in his 52-second video.

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The varsity students belonging to Chhatra Bharti Students’ Union and All India Students Federation (AISF) was allegedly sitting on dharna against professor Soman for his strong words against Rahul Gandhi. It is speculated that varsity administration decided to put Soman on force leave to subsume the matter. However, the varsity administration in it’s statement to media stated that there were complaints against Professor Soman and hence the action is taken. The Vice-Chancellor of the Kalina based Mumbai University has also assured the agitating students to set up a committee to inquire on the complaints received against the senior professor.

Mumbai president of BJP, Ashish Shelar, reacted to the news and called this an emergency like situation where one gets penalized for supporting Savarkar and opposing Rahul Gandhi. “Expressing personal opinion is no crime, if someone is stopped from doing so and forced to leave their job for supporting Savarkar and opposing Rahul Gandhi then situation is like the Emergency,” Shelar was quoted as saying in India Today report.

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In December 2019, Rahul Gandhi was addressing a rally in election-bound Jharkhand. In the rally, Gandhi said that BJP had promoted “Make in India” campaign but it is “Rape in India” everywhere in India.

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Gandhi’s statement attracted strong opposition and condemnation from the rival party, BJP, in the parliament and off the parliament. BJP leaders along with other leaders demanded an apology from Rahul Gandhi for his objectionable remark. While this was in news, Rahul Gandhi, while addressing Congress led Bharat Bachao rally in Delhi, said that BJP was demanding for his apology in the parliament “but I want to tell them that my name is not Rahul Savarkar, my name is Rahul Gandhi. I won’t apologize. I will not apologize for speaking the truth,”

The Gandhi scion was widely criticized by BJP leaders for his controversial remark on a freedom fighter. However, Gandhi had refused to tender his apology. On his refusal to apologize, Savarkar’s grandson, Ranjit Savarkar, made it open that he is contemplating at filing a defamation suit against Rahul Gandhi for his remark on his grandfather.

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