Anti-nationals to rape to ‘Islamic’ Taj: IIT-K prof’s gems

Ritika Chopra
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Vashi Mant Sharma (in pic) hit the headlines last month when he complained against a students' demonstration on campus, where a poem by Faiz Ahmad Faiz was read to express solidarity with students of Jamia Millia Islamia.

The assault on former JNU Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar at Patiala House Courts will deter "anti-nationals"; if Hindus had "known to rape... no Muslim woman could survive in India"; the ancestors of Indian Muslims were Hindus and Buddhists; the cost of building the world's tallest statue of Shivaji is justified since the government also spends on maintaining "Islamic sites" like the Taj Mahal.

These are the views of Vashi Mant Sharma, a temporary teacher at IIT-Kanpur, published in two of his books in 2017 and 2018. Sharma hit the headlines last month when he complained against a students' demonstration on campus, where a poem by Faiz Ahmad Faiz was read to express solidarity with students of Jamia Millia Islamia. The institute has set up a six-member committee to inquire into his complaint, which, among other things, also claims the poem 'Hum Dekhenge' hurts religious sentiments.

Sharma (32) is currently with the mechanical engineering department of IIT-Kanpur as part of the INSPIRE Faculty Scheme run by the Department of Science and Technology. Every year, the scheme offers post-doctoral researchers, in the age group of 27-32 years, contractual and tenure track positions for five years in basic and applied sciences.

Sharma has a Masters' degree and PhD from IIT-Bombay. Concentrating solar power and renewable energy are listed as his research interests on IIT-Kanpur's website. He has written 10 books, all published by Agniveer, a group that, as per its official website, aims to revive the "glory of Vedas" and "fight against every form of injustice and discrimination".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dAKp6xF--o

When contacted on Saturday, Sharma said he did not want to be quoted. He said the newspaper should not profile him as he fears for his safety, and what he has written in public comes with "disclaimers" and "without adequate emphasis on those disclaimers, it will lead to misrepresentation".

Excerpts from his books, A Liberal's (F)Laws - Hypocrites that feed terrorism' and ‘Indian Muslims - Children of India or Slaves of Arabs':

On the attack on Kanhaiya Kumar:

‘A Liberal's (F)Laws...' presents Sharma's take on a range of issues, from the Kathua rape to Rohith Vemula's suicide. In the chapter titled ‘Liberal's Love for Afzal Guru', he supports the "sentiments" that spurred lawyers at Patiala House to attack Kanhaiya Kumar in February 2016.

"I also believe that such incidents act as deterrents against designs of terrorists. You cannot pass the burden of public safety on security forces alone. In a country where episodes like 26/11 happen, and where ISIS openly called the war against cow-lovers, where attacks on Air Force station like Pathankot keeps happening, every citizen must be proactive. Next time, anti-Indians would be shit-scared to indulge in anti-national activities. How legally or ethically correct it is for analysts to decide who merely analyse and rarely act. But in extreme situations, extreme measures that go beyond the normal call of duty are necessary," he wrote.

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On the Shivaji statue:

Criticising the controversy over the estimated cost of building the Shivaji statue, Sharma wrote, "The funding of ASI also comes from taxpayers' money. I never heard any of you shouting what waste of money these massive monuments were -- the Taj Mahal, Red Fort etc. -- that as per your own history were built when India faced worst hunger, drought, and poverty ever in history. Instead, you would take your children and sponsor trips of your US partners to these places. But if we talk of creating a monument for Shivaji, you start burning... If governments in India have enough money to maintain Taj Mahal, Humayun Tomb, Lal Quila and other Islamic sites, stop crying about Shivaji Maharaj's statue. We know his sword scares your rear, but this is how it is. Live with it."

On Kathua rape case:

In the chapter titled ‘Asifa Rape Case', he questioned the investigation conducted by the J&K police into the Kathua rape case. "And finally, have you ever heard the news that Hindus raped in the temple? It is not in our blood. Had we done it, we would have retaliated (to) Muslim invaders in the language they attacked us. They destroyed temples and built mosques over them. They raped millions. Had Hindus known to rape, that too in the name of religion, no Muslim invader or woman could survive in India."

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On Indian Muslims:

In the book 'Indian Muslims - Children of India or Slaves of Arabs', Sharma urges the "confused subcontinent Muslims" to recognise their Indian roots. He writes, "Inspite of the fact that many of the sub-continent Muslims think they belong to Arabs, the truth remains that their ancestors were Hindus and Buddhists. This truth brings thunderbolts to many subcontinent Muslims because it makes them inferior in front of Arabs in Sunnat of the prophet (to be like Muhammad) which has a direct say in getting heaven or hell hereafter. In order to convince themselves, and of course, Allah and Muhammad, that they are no less Arabs, Mullahs in the Indian subcontinent preach the gullible masses to ape Arabs in every possible field."

At the beginning of the book, Sharma adds a disclaimer that the purpose of his book is "not to create hatred of one community among rest". By Islam, he writes, he means "the interpretation of Islam suggested by radical Islamists and their followers who deny equal rights and heaven to non-Muslims and justify the killing of apostates". By the Quran, Sharma adds, he means "the translations of Quran as patronised by these fanatics and freely circulated on the Internet to radicalise weak minds". "All my criticisms are exclusively for radical elements, and none else," he writes.

On Faiz:

In his blog on January 1, Sharma disagrees with the view that Faiz was against the Pakistani regime and that his poem challenged its authority. "The revolutionary Faiz Sahib opted (for) Islamist Pakistan of Jinnah over secular India. Pakistan that promised to degrade Hindu-Sikh-Non-Muslims to second class citizens. No, It was not fear of death in ‘Hindu India' that made Faiz opt for Pakistan...Faiz literally thought of creation of Pakistan as liberation of Muslims!"