20 January, 2021

Wrong Question

College prof hacked for hurting sentiments

A S Satheesh
Wrong Question

As professor T.J. Joseph of Newman College, Thodupuzha in south Kerala, recovers in hospital after a 15-hour surgery to reattach his right hand—hacked off by alleged Popular Front of India (PFI) assailants—questions are being asked over how a Taliban-model, cold-blooded  attack could take place in public and in broad daylight in what is one of India’s supposedly better policed states.

The police have arrested two PFI activists and the search is on for the other assailants. The attack, apparently, was in retaliation for a blasphemous question set by Joseph in the Malayalam semester examination paper for BCom students. Joseph, who education minister M.A. Baby later called a “fool”, set the question based on a short story by CPI(M) leader P.T. Kunju Mohammed about a village madcap who questions god. The students were asked to punctuate a passage from the story. But the nameless mad man in the story was referred to as Mohammed by Joseph while setting the paper. That was enough for the local edition of...



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