JNU Ph.D Scholar claims professor forced him to project Hindi as a ‘Communal Language’

"There is no place for such pro-Hindi research in JNU! You better go to Delhi University, and idolise Bhartendu Harishchandra!”, a JNU professor said

A 35-year-old research scholar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has approached the Delhi High Court accusing his professor of forcing him to carry out his research to endorse a view that Hindi is a ‘communal language’, reported The Indian Express.

Ashutosh Kumar Roy, pursuing a PhD at the Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences at JNU has alleged that his professor “arbitrarily” suggested him to change the course of his research to state that Hindi is a ‘communal language’ and demanded him to endorse the same.

Justice C Hari Shankar of the Delhi High Court heard the petition, issued a notice to the JNU and the associate professor in question while directing them to file their responses by April 23. While seeking to enforce his fundamental right under the Constitution, the petitioner had sought directions to the university to assign him a PhD Supervisor for grant of registration in the Winter Semester 2019.

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Dibyanshu Pandey, the counsel representing Roy, has filed a petition seeking an inquiry into the denial of registration by JNU and its authorities to carry out research pertaining to research on ‘Hindi Public Sphere (1870-1970): Debates on Nationalism’, which deconstructs significant prevailing ideas pertaining to the Hindi language.

The petition contends that the acting supervisor’s and others’ actions “coax the petitioner to carry out motivated research against the Hindi language, against stalwarts of Hindi language, and the arbitrary denial of permission to pursue PhD is a blatant violation of his fundamental rights as well as university rules”.

The petitioner also states that after his previous research supervisor left, his requests to grant a new supervisor did not receive any reply from the university authorities. Roy says he continued his work without any supervision and submitted his PhD synopsis last year, which was approved by faculty members with some verbal suggestions for changes.

However, upon submission of the work to the Committee for Advanced Studies and Research, a professor allegedly derided the pro-Hindi nature of the work and stated, “There is no place for such pro-Hindi research in JNU! You better go to Delhi University….and idolise Bhartendu Harishchandra!”.

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