Skip to main content

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Arif Mohammad Khan, Prof Irfan Habib
Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.

Text:

The 80th Session of the Indian History Congress (IHC) was inaugurated on December 28, 2019. Being attended by most of the prominent historians of India, the session was to be inaugurated by His Excellency, the Governor of Kerala, Arif Muhammad Khan.
The inaugural session started on the right note. But soon after the Presidential Address delivered by Professor Amiya Kumar Bagchi (Kolkata), Arif Muhammad Khan was called to deliver his speech. Instead of delivering an address the Honourable Governor started not only defending the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) but also accusing all those who did not agree with CAA as “Pakistani” agents who never had the courage to criticise the wrong policies of the Gandhi family, specially Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
Along with all those who opposed CAA as anti-nationals, he went along to suggest that this could not be understood by the people of Kerala who never experienced the partition of India and creation of Pakistan.
On hearing such comments being spoken by the Governor, two young women who are doing research from JNU stood up silently holding placards created from the papers available to them: “No to CAA” was the message written on them. Along with them a few senior professors from Centre of Advanced Studies (CAS), Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), and Delhi University (DU) stood up asking the Governor to refrain from what he was doing.
The protestors were surrounded by the police who tried to enter into a physical scuffle and tried to take the two girls into custody, but for the timely intervention by a Rajya Sabha MP attending the Inaugural and present on the dias. Soon a host of researchers from Jawararlal Nehru University (JNU), AMU,DU and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) were detained. Fortunately, they were all released within an hour. Attempt was also made to detain a senior professor from Aligarh.
As soon as Prof Habib, 88, protested, the ADC and the security officer of the Governor pushed him and tried to stop him
As the protests commenced, Prof Irfan Habib who was on the dias in the capacity of being the outgoing president of the IHC, got up from his seat and proceeded to the vice-chancellor, Kannur University, Prof Gopinath Ravindran to request him to stop what was happening and request the governor to refrain from turning IHC into his political arena and making remarks of the nature he was indulging in.
As soon as Prof Habib went there, the ADC and the security officer of the Governor pushed him and tried to stop him. The Governor too started accusing Habib of trying to stop him from speaking.
It is surprising that the incidence of protest against stifling of democratic dissent is being tweeted by the Honourable Governor as an attack on him.
Instead of apologising to one of the seniormost historian (who is 88 years old) of the country who had been pushed around by his ADC and security officers, the Governor through his tweet is spreading falsehood and claiming instead that the professor pushed the ADC and Security Officer! We condemn these attempts at spreading falsehood unequivocally.
The members of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA) also condemn the stifling the democratic voices and our right to protest. We further condemn the way the Constitution of India is being effectively dismantled through Acts like CAA.
We also condemn the force used on the members of the Indian History Congress which is the largest body of professional historians of India and attempts to detain some of its members who were protesting peacefully. We laud Prof Irfan Habib, Padma Bhushan and professor emeritus (AMU), for raising his voice against the rising intolerance to democratic norms.

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.