‘Can’t call me a terrorist,’ student tells professor in viral video; university debars latter from classes

The video that has gone viral on social media shows a student standing up for himself against his professor's 'Kasab' comment.

BySumit Jha

Published Nov 28, 2022 | 4:51 PM Updated Nov 28, 2022 | 5:33 PM

Kasab comment on student

A video shot inside the classroom of a prestigious private University in Karnataka showing a student calling out Islamophobic comments of a professor has gone viral.

A Muslim student standing up to his professor, who apparently referred to him as “Kasab” in a supposed joke, has drawn praise for the student while eliciting criticisms over the state of affairs for minorities — even in educational institutions in India.

Manipal University, where the incident took place on the anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai Terror attacks, confirmed to South First that the faculty member — an assistant professor — seen in a viral video being confronted by one of his students has been disbarred from taking further classes.

The university also said it has initiated an inquiry after the video surfaced on social media.

‘Your sorry doesn’t change how you think’

In the video that surfaced on social media, a student is seen irked by the faculty for calling him names. The name and details of the student have been withheld to protect his identity.

According to sources, when the professor wanted to ask a question, the student introduced himself. After the professor heard the name of the student, he allegedly joked and said: “Oh, you are a Kasab?”

While the “joke” was not caught on camera, the student’s reaction — which happened to be recorded — makes it clear that it was the student’s name signifying his religion upon which the professor commented.

The rough transcription of the conversation is like this:

Student: “….religion in such a derogatory manner.”

Professor: “You are just like my kid.”

Student: “No. If my father says [anything like this], I will disown him.”

Professor: “It is just funny.”

Student: “No sir, No. It’s not funny. 26/11 was not funny, and Islamic terrorism is not funny. Being a Muslim in this country and facing this every day is not funny.”

Professor: “You are just like my son…”

Student: “No sir. No. Will you talk to your son like this? Will you call your son by the name of a terrorist? How can you call me like that, in front of so many people, in a class? You are a professional. You are teaching. You can’t call me [a name] like that.”

Professor: “Sorry. I said I am sorry. Sorry”

Student: “Your sorry doesn’t change how you think or what you conveyed here.”

College responds

An official statement from the Manipal Institute of Technology. (Supplied)

An official statement from the Manipal Institute of Technology. (Supplied)

In a statement to South First, Manipal University said that it has debarred the professor in question from taking classes until further notice.

“We are enquiring about this incident. As an organisation, we value treating everyone alike and irrespective of caste, gender, or religion. Till the inquiry is concluded, we have asked the concerned faculty not to take classes: We have debarred him from taking the classes. Inquiry is happening and we will address it properly,” a spokesperson told South First.

On the question of any counselling to students after the incident, he said: “Give us time… If something happened, we are addressing it. The situation is under control, and there is nothing to worry about. We are taking appropriate action.”

The student in the video, however, has not filed any formal complaint with the university against the professor.

The university, meanwhile, insists that the video was made public by someone outside the institution.