"Anti-Kerala Bias": Shashi Tharoor On DU Professor's "Mark Jihad" Remark

Shashi Tharoor was responding to remarks by a member of the RSS-affiliated teachers' body who had hinted at a "conspiracy" behind the high number of applicants from Kerala.

'Anti-Kerala Bias': Shashi Tharoor On DU Professor's 'Mark Jihad' Remark

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said the "anti-Kerala bias" must end now. (File)


Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday described as "ridiculous" a Delhi University professor's "mark jihad" remarks against the Kerala education board after a large number of students from the southern state applied to DU colleges for higher studies with good marks.

Responding to remarks by Rakesh Kumar Pandey, a member of RSS-affiliated teachers' body National Democratic Teachers' Front, who had hinted at a "conspiracy" behind the high number of applicants from Kerala, Mr Tharoor said, "This anti-Kerala bias must end now!"

"The use of "jihad" as a synonym for any trend you don't like is exceeding all limits: now a DU teacher has got attention by absurdly decrying #MarksJihad!," Mr Tharoor tweeted, sharing the link of a news report carrying Mr Pandey's controversial remarks.

"I've always decried the over-reliance on marks as the main criterion for DU admission, but this is ridiculous. If "Jihad" means a struggle (with yourself above all), the Kerala students scoring 100% have struggled against the odds to get to DU. Interview them first if you wish before letting them in, but don't demonise their marks! This anti-Kerala bias must end now!," the Thiruvananthapuram MP tweeted.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Pandey had alleged 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," Mr Pandey had said, calling it a "marks jihad".

Over 100 admissions of students of the Kerala board were put on hold by the DU over a confusion related to their marksheets, but the matter was resolved after officials contacted the board in the southern state, sources had said on Wednesday.

Amid a large number of students from the Kerala board applying to DU colleges, that too a majority of them being perfect scorers, an issue over their marksheets had risen on Monday, leading the admission branch of the university to direct the colleges to put the admissions on hold.

A majority of these admissions had taken place in north campus colleges, the sources had said.

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