Arjun Raghunath,
Protest is brewing against the action of Central University in Kasargod against an assistant professor who termed the RSS a proto-fascist outfit. He also allegedly flayed the centre’s decision to export Covid vaccines.

Assistant professor Gilbert Sebastian of Department of Politics and International Relations was placed under suspension pending enquiry.

It was during a class on the topic of ‘Fascism and Nazism’ that Sebastian made a remark that RSS and Sangh Parivar organisations could be considered as proto-fascist. He flayed the centre’s vaccine policy citing that the vaccine need of the country could not be even met.
While the university authorities maintained that action was initiated against Sebastian on the basis of a complaint filed by the ABVP unit of the college and a member of the National Monitoring Committee on Education under the MHRD, there were allegations that the vice-chancellor of the university H Venkateshwarlu was under pressure from the top to act.

The assistant professor was even accused of trying to instil hatred.

While the action against the professor triggered widespread criticism on social media, Congress MPs Shashi Tharoor and Rajmohan Unnithan and CPI Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam also reacted against the university’s action.

Tharoor said in a tweet that the concern he expressed about the dwindling space for dissent on campuses during discussions on National Education Policy was being echoed in Sebastian’s case also.

In a letter sent to the centre urging that the action against Sebastian should be revoked, Viswam said that persecuting someone for criticising the government itself is a feature of ‘proto-fascism’.

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