Kashmiri teacher says passage scientific, not obscene

Friday, December 24, 2010

SRINAGAR - A Kashmir University teacher who has been booked for setting what police call an obscene question paper Friday said he did not commit any crime and simply took a passage from a textbook that was part of the curriculum.

It is a conspiracy against me. I have not committed any crime. Registering a criminal case against me is simply academic terrorism, Shaad Ramzan, a professor of Kashmirir language, told reporters here.

Police in summer capital Srinagar had filed a first information report (FIR) against the university teacher Wednesday for setting the question paper which referred to a woman’s breasts.

The question paper was set for graduate-level students of Kashmiri language. It contained an obscene text which the students were asked to translate from Urdu into Kashmiri, Maqsood-ul-Zaman, superintendent of police (Hazratbal), said here.

“It offends the sensibilities of students and society here,” he said.

But defending his right to set the question paper, Ramzan said: I had taken the passage from a very famous Unani textbook. The book is a course for students studying the Unani system of medicine.”

If the selected text is obscene, then the book should have been banned. Besides, zoology and human biology books taught to medical students must also be banned, Ramzan said.

The teacher said, “If we want Kashmiri to become a scientific language, then we need to incorporate medical science, biology etc into it.”

However, students here said it was a matter of concern that such a question were asked in an exam paper related to the literature of any language.

The question paper did not pertain to medicine, anatomy, physiology or any other bio-science. It pertained to a language that concerned its literature.

The controversial question could and should have been avoided, said Sajad Ahmad, 25, a local student here.

Earlier this month, another local college teacher was booked for setting a question paper which contained controversial text that police said could fan separatist sentiments here.

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