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Dalit Professor’s Award Cancelled by State-Funded Literary Association Over Anti-BJP Facebook Post

The State Employees Literary Association has maintained that the Raman Lal Agarwal Award to Professor Ravi Kant was canceled to avoid any kind of controversy.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18.com@qazifarazahmad

Updated:March 11, 2019, 1:12 PM IST
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Dalit Professor’s Award Cancelled by State-Funded Literary Association Over Anti-BJP Facebook Post
Image for representation. (Photo: Reuters)

Lucknow: A satirical Facebook post on the BJP has led to a Dalit Professor of Hindi Department at Lucknow University being stripped of his literary recognition.

The Raman Lal Agarwal Award was scheduled to be given to Professor Ravi Kant by State Employees Literary Association later this month. However, the professor received a letter from the Association on 6 March 2019 saying that government-funded body had decided not to give the award to him because of his post.

In one of his facebook posts Prof Ravi Kant had written, "The condition of Bhakts is such that they celebrate his(Donald Trump) birthday and make his picture eat the cake. And their Devta (Modi) goes to Pakistan uninvited, he is a patriot. While if I applaud the efforts by Imran Khan over the release of Wing Commander Abhinandan, then I become a traitor. I had to face abuses from them."

In another Facebook post, Prof Ravi Kant had taken a potshot at the recent shoe fight between BJP MP And MLA's.

The letter sent to Professor Ravi Kant, signed by Dinesh Chandra Awasthi, Secretary of the Award Committee said, “You were being given the Raman Lal Agarwal Award. However, we have received a letter with allegations against you along with copies of your Facebook account. In such opposite situations, the committee has decided to roll back its decision to confer the award upon you.”

Professor Kant has reacted to the decision stating that his posts on social media were his personal thoughts while the Award was for his Professional work and contribution. Professor Ravi Kant has refused to delete his Facebook posts, which are critical of BJP.

“I am free to express my personal views, if someone has a problem with it then I can’t help it. I had also received ‘Sahitya Gaurav’ award from the same organization last year too,” he said.

Meanwhile, the State Employees Literary Association has said that the award to Professor Ravi Kant was canceled to avoid any kind of controversy. However, after the cancellation of the award, opposition parties have attacked BJP and have come out in favour of Professor Ravi Kant.

Former Chief Minister of the state and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav took to Twitter to say, “The BJP’s assault on Dalits continues unabated. Today Prof. Ravi Kant of Lucknow University was stripped of a state-sponsored award for having anti-BJP views. This the true face of their so-called ‘nationalism’.”

UPCC Spokesperson Anshu Awasthi has also condemned the decision. “The Congress party condemns such action by state-sponsored bodies. The Constitution of India gives everyone the right to express their views and criticize. This is an attack on fundamental rights of the people and shows how one is targeted for his views against the BJP,” he said.

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| Edited by: Aditya Sharma
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