Indian academic under fire for calling Hindu goddess ‘prostitute’

Police complaint is filed against Delhi University lecturer after he posted comment on Facebook

September 27, 2017
Source: istock

A top Indian university is facing calls to sack a lecturer who referred to the Hindu goddess Durga as a “sexy prostitute.”

Two student groups have called on the University of Delhi to dismiss Kedar Kumar Mandal, an assistant professor at the university’s Dyal Singh College, for his Facebook comment about the warrior goddess, India Times reported on 24 September.

Both the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad – a Hindu nationalist student group – and the National Students’ Union of India have backed calls for Delhi to remove the academic from his post.

Dr Mandal has been suspended from his post, according to reports.

The remark about Durga – who is revered as the supreme being and creator of the universe in the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism – also led the National Democratic Teachers Front (NDTF), a teachers’ union, to file a police complaint against him.

In their complaint, the teachers accused the Delhi lecturer of “making a mischievous attempt to hurt people’s feelings”, the Times of India reported.

“This is a disgusting attempt at cheap publicity especially at a time when everyone is revelling in the festivities of Navratri,” said VS Negi, the general secretary of NDTF and one of the complainants, the paper reported.

The Facebook comment has now been removed from the site and Dr Mandal has not yet responded to the complaints about him, India Times said.

jack.grove@timeshighereducation.com

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