A government college professor in Madhya Pradesh was seen on video touching the feet of some Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad activists, who allegedly accused him of being anti-national on Wednesday. The professor had asked them to not shout slogans outside a classroom, The Indian Express reported.
The incident took place at the Rajiv Gandhi Government College in Mandsaur. The activists were allegedly shouting slogans while on their way to submit a memorandum to the college principal over a delay in the announcement of examination results. When Professor Dinesh Gupta tried to stop them, the activists allegedly said he was stopping them from saying Vande Mataram and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”. They also threatened to file a case against him for the “unpatriotic” act.
In a video clip, Gupta is seen touching their feet one by one while they try to stop him from doing so. He also kept mumbling that he had committed the crime of teaching, so he should apologise, News18 reported. Gupta applied for leave for three days on Thursday, according to The Indian Express.
“They were calling me anti-national. What else could I do, I fell [on] their feet and said I am not like that,” Gupta later said, according to Dainik Bhaskar. “They are not students, they only engage in politics and never come to classes. I am not thinking about taking any action.”
The college head of the ABVP, Radhe Goswami, said the professor’s mind was “disturbed”, and stopping them from shouting slogans was his mistake.
Pawan Sharma, the district coordinator of ABVP, said he was confused by Gupta’s action. He said he tried to stop him and later went to him to apologise, according to News18. Ankit Garg, a national executive member of the ABVP, said the professor could have avoided the action, but added that the activists should not have disrupted studies while classes were going on.
Mandsaur MLA Yashpal Sisodiya claimed the incident was being blown out of proportion, and claimed the activists had not asked Gupta to touch their feet. “I am trying to get the students to apologise if they are at fault, or to get him to pardon the students,” he said.