Condemn Discrimination & Humiliation of Asst Prof Rosina Nasir: JNUTA

Written by Sabrangindia | Published on: July 26, 2019
Dr. Rosina Nasir (40), an assistant professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), has allegedly been a victim of targeted discrimination and harassment based on her religious (Muslim) identity at the hands of the Vice Chancellor (VC) Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar and chairperson of Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP) Yagati Chinna Rao. Dr. Nasir approached the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) which passed an interim order on July 19 and held, “We feel that, prima facie, the complainant is being harassed and humiliated in gross misuse of powers by the accused persons and find her claim that this is being done only for her being a Muslim is, prima facie, quite credible.”

JNU

The JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) has condemned this targeted discrimination, humiliation and exploitation of Dr. Nasir and has welcomed the DMC’s interim order. JNUTA, in a letter dated July 25, signed by the president Atul Sood and secretary Avinash Kumar, stated that “The General Body of the JNUTA is deeply anguished by the fact that a valued and respected JNU colleague, Dr Rosina Nasir has been compelled to approach the Delhi Minorities Commission with a complaint of targeted discrimination and harassment based on her religious identity against the JNU VC and his administration. JNUTA welcomes the interim order and stands in support of Dr. Nasir’s rights as an employee and a citizen of a secular nation, and strongly condemns all the actions, comments, acts of negligence, omission and commission that have subjected Dr. Nasir to indignity, humiliation, harassment, and insecurity.”

Expressing disapproval of the gradual and systematic erosion of the teaching and learning environment in the university by the JNU VC and his administration, JNUTA has stated that attempts are being made to dismantle all institutional norms and mechanisms to ensure equality and justice for people from the marginalized communities. The letter reads, “In this atmosphere of officially sponsored decay, colleagues like Dr. Nasir are rendered triply vulnerable and defenseless. The treatment of Dr. Rosina Nasir, and her former colleague Dr. Kaustav Bannerji at CSSEIP represents the most reprehensible of treatments of employees by the current JNU administration.”

Dr. Nasir, Dr. Bannerji as well as the office staff of the Centre, were not paid their salaries for over several months, until they sought the intervention of the Delhi High Court in November 2018 and their salaries were released only when they won the case. Today, despite the fact that the UGC programme has been extended to March 2020, Dr. Nasir has been once again forced in the situation up to May 2019 — one of no salary and threats of eviction from the house inside the university campus.

JNUTA has also thrown light on the increasing gender discrimination along with the fostering of hate speech by the current university administration. It has further stated that “We have also seen that the JNU Administration has also repeatedly stonewalled any attempts by external agencies like the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, and National Commission for Minorities to address grievances of faculty expressed to it on earlier occasions. Not one official statement assuring an institutional abhorrence to the spread of hatred on the basis of faith, ethnicity or caste has been issued by the University Administration in the wake of a long succession of incidents. The interim order of the Delhi Minorities Commission is extremely reassuring in this context.”

Dr. Nasir in her letter to the DMC stated that “I was denied the key to access the class-cum-committee room by the Centre Chairperson Prof. Chinna Rao, services like telephone, official internet connection, official email id, and my webpage profile were declined and blocked. I was not allowed to teach students and students were discouraged to get enrolled in my offered course. It is humiliating.” She adds that she is being driven to suicide because of this “isolation, exclusion, and creation of an unfamiliar and hostile environment”.

The DMC has asked the registrar to file a written reply to the allegations by August 1, 2019 failing which a case will be registered against the VC and the chairperson of CSSEIP. The chairperson of the DMC, Zafarul-Islam Khan, has also ordered the JNU administration to “stop any harassment of the complainant, release her arrears by July 26 and regularise her future salary payment.” He also restrained the administration from withdrawing her housing facility in the campus and ordered the station house officer of the Vasant Kunj police station to refrain from offering any police support to evict the complainant from her living quarters.

Condemning the earlier inaction of the university administration on Dr. Nasir’s complaints, JNUTA letter states “The General Body demands full compliance by the University Administration with the terms of the interim order issued by the Delhi Minorities Commission. Dr. Nasir must be allowed to perform her duties as a teacher with full dignity—all the facilities needed for a teacher to function in the university be restored to Dr Rosina Nasir, the illegal bar on her attending the faculty meeting be lifted immediately, and her salary be paid on time. Further, she and her family must be guaranteed the security of campus housing, and her rights and dignity as a human being must be protected above all.”

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