Thursday, May 30, 2024
HomeSpecialsOpIndia Scoops'Sanghis cannot be friends': Read how students and teachers of Azim Premji University led...

‘Sanghis cannot be friends’: Read how students and teachers of Azim Premji University led a mob against a Hindu student, accusing him of Islamophobia and getting him suspended

Trial by social media has already judged that Azim Premji University student Rishi Tiwari is an Islamophobe because he is a 'Sanghi' and called for boycott against anyone who sided by him.

In Bengaluru, a student from Azim Premji University has alleged that he was harassed and discriminated against for being Hindu by a student mob. On May 2, 2022, the college administration expelled him from participating in any further academic activities after he had a brawl with a Muslim student on the campus over a petty issue.

Rishi Tiwari is a post-graduate student for MA development hailing from Ballan village of Banda district in Uttar Pradesh. According to him, has been targeted by professors and other students at the institute over his alma mater – The Benares Hindu University, for they think it was a bastion of ‘Right Wing’ and his faith Hinduism. He has complained of being labelled as a  ‘Sanghi’, ‘a BJP person’, and ‘radical Hindu’ with a motive of abuse. More details in the case can be read here.

However, the matter escalated when, according to Tiwari, a group of students gheraoed him and he was verbally abused and physically attacked by the student mob. Tiwari revealed that he was trapped in a fake case for allegedly throwing food on a Muslim student’s face and spitting on him after they had a brawl. Following this incident, a section of students attacked Rishi Tiwari and led a concerted campaign against him, he said.

Tiwari is being accused of harassing the Muslim student instead, who is being claimed to be breaking his fast during a brawl with Tiwari. However, without paying any heed to Tiwari’s side, some students of the Azim Premji University have ganged up against him in protest, he said. He is being accused of ‘Islamophobia’ over allegedly mocking a Muslim student. After the pressure ramped up before the administration, Tiwari was rusticated from the campus and thrown out of his hostel with an immediate effect till December 31, 2022.

In the message forwarded to the official group of Azim Premji University, Tiwari was already labelled as a perpetrator before his outright suspension after the incident. Tiwari has alleged that his version of the story was not taken into consideration in the matter. It was Rishi Tiwari who was being subjected to ideological isolation and targeting at the University, and yet the WhatsApp message painted him as a perpetrator of bullying, harassment and assault.

While we reached out to the University for a comment, they have not yet responded.

Being denied the right to self-clarification, the allegations against Rishi Tiwari was more ideological and religious layered with targeting with brazen stereotypes of being a ‘Sanghi’ or a ‘BJP supporter’. Meanwhile, Rishi Tiwari has alleged that he was being continuously isolated for wearing his Hindu identity on his sleeves. “If I’m having faith in my identity and belief in the Hindu religion, it isn’t a crime. Having ideological differences doesn’t mean that I have to pay so much in the form of my degree and job,” he says.

The social media abuse

OpIndia dug into details and found how systematic the abuse was directed at Rishi Tiwari, which then escalated to social media. Instagram stories called for outrightly denouncing Tiwari with open threats to people standing behind him over ‘naming and shaming’ seemingly by his own classmates. What was an internal matter inside the college matter, escalated into a one-sided ideological war from the Left sympathizers, who decided to ‘shame’ Rishi Tiwari openly on social media.

Without evidence of the claims of the alleged crimes committed by him, the allegations went to the level of painting him as a perpetrator in the social media trial. Secondly, the allegations against Tiwari appear more to do with his ideology of being a ‘Sanghi’. It was alleged that a ‘Sanghi ideology is founded on hate against Muslims’ and hence upon this assumption, it was convenient to portray the student as the offender. An Islamophobia angle was invented in what Tiwari said was a petty issue, and a concerted narrative is being seen built upon it to target him.

For those who refused to take sides in the matter and waited for an investigation to take place, were charged with ‘bothsideism’ and ambiguity. The need to take sides and that too against Tiwari was a must. Furthermore, Tiwari’s brawl with the said Muslim student on the campus was asked to be contextualised with alleged ‘calls for hate and genocide’. Diversity of opinion was a big no – since it enabled ‘fascism’.

One of the faculty at the Azim Premji University wrote a solidarity note on behalf of the batch asking to condemn the incident of bigotry at the school. She asked to stage a meet against the incident and took an open stand against Tiwari in the case. Tiwari has earlier complained that a clique of teachers was isolating him over his politics and views.

Email sent by the Professor to the class

Call for Protests against Tiwari

A cabal of students had called upon the incident an act of ‘Islamophobia’. The group had started staging demonstrations against Rishi Tiwari on the campus. Beyond the incidents of social media abuse through Instagram stories directed at him, students were mobilized to join in the protests over the issue. Claims of Tiwari spitting on the face of another student were reiterated.

When OpIndia contacted Rishi Tiwari for knowing his recent whereabouts, he said that he was restricted to join any academic activity on the campus until the disciplinary committee completed its investigation. He has been barred from entering the campus and his hostel until further notice.

Even while the investigation in the case is due, Rishi Tiwari was penalised over allegations against him. When asked about why the decision of upright suspension was taken, he said that the college was forced to take such steps under the pressure of students who took up the campus on fire with the protests. The suspension notice sent to Tiwari over e-mail mentions that his rustication was a result of a decision taken in the ‘interest of the safety of all students’.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -