Maharashtra professor beaten up, arrested for asking why Shivaji's birthday is celebrated twice

A professor in a college in Khopoli was beaten up and arrested for simply questioning why Chhatrapati Shivaji's birthday was celebrated twice a year.

FP Staff March 22, 2017 13:02:06 IST
Maharashtra professor beaten up, arrested for asking why Shivaji's birthday is celebrated twice

As if we did not have enough incidents to show us how meaningless the words 'freedom of speech and expression' have become, a professor in a college in Khopoli was beaten up and arrested for simply questioning why Chhatrapati Shivaji's birthday was celebrated twice a year.

Maharashtra professor beaten up arrested for asking why Shivajis birthday is celebrated twice

Representational image. AFP

According to a report in The Times of India, the incident took place on Wednesday when Sunil Waghmare, a professor in the commerce department at KMC College, questioned on a Whatsapp group why Shivaji Jayanti was celebrated twice a year.

Waghmare was beaten up by some college students and even professors the next day and the Whatsapp group admin even lodged a case against him uder IPC 295(A) for hurting religious sentiments.

"He is senior faculty and I know him since 2012. That night on WhatsApp, when he made the comment, I asked him to take back his words but he refused. So, I decided to delete the group altogether. On Friday, when I was in the staff room, I got to know that he was attacked. Later, because I was the admin of the group, I was asked by the police to register the complaint," Mid-Day quoted Professor Amol Nagargoje, who had registered the complaint, as saying.

On the other hand, Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai had in February written a letter to the chief minister and cultural minister that the Maharashtra government should only organise celebrations for Shivaji Jayanti on tithi (a date on the Marathi calendar), according to The Asian Age.

While the state government officially marks Shiv Jayanti with an annual holiday on 19 February, many people in the state celebrate the occasion on tithi.

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