Describing the remarks of Delhi University professor against the state's education board as racist, Kerala General Education Minister V Sivankutty on Saturday sought action against the professor for his' marks jihad' comment. DU professor Rakesh Kumar Pandey, a member of the RSS-affiliated teachers' body National Democratic Teachers' Front, had criticized the Kerala state's education board and alleged that there is a conspiracy behind the high number of applicants from Kerala, terming it 'marks jihad'.
Sivankutty has sent a letter to the Union Minister for Education Dharmendra Pradhan and Delhi University Vice-Chancellor in the matter and sought criminal and department-level action against him. "The professor made a racist and communal statement against the students from Kerala. Such statements may cause hatred among the students," the Minister said.
The MPs of CPI(M) and Congress from the state had slammed the remark against the state's board on October 7th. They further sought condemnation by the centre.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor termed the comment as 'ridiculous', and CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member John Brittas sought disciplinary and legal action against the professor in a letter to Dharmendra Pradhan. Brittas noted that the comments are "highly deplorable, defamatory and communal".
On October 6, Pandey said that "the invasion of Kerala board students with perfect 100 per cent marks cannot be considered as unplanned. It hints at something that must be investigated. There is no way that one can accept this inexplicable flow of students from the Kerala board as normal. Majority of these students are comfortable neither in Hindi nor in English. All these students do not have 100 per cent marks in Class 11." He further termed it a "marks jihad".
Sources confirmed on Wednesday that though several admissions of students from the Kerala board was put on hold by the University over confusion in mark sheets, it was later resolved after officials contacted the board. The admission branch of the University had directed colleges to put admissions on hold after an issue of mark sheets arose on Monday for a large number of students from the Kerala board applying to DU colleges.