An FIR has been lodged against a professor alleged of outraging religious feelings through her controversial remarks. Shilpa Singh, an assistant Political Science professor at VM Salgaocar College of Law, is in trouble for comparing women wearing Mangalsutra with chained dogs in her social media post.
Alleging her for outraging the religious feelings with deliberate and malicious intention, an FIR has been filed against Singh in Panaji town police station. “The above noted accused person having a Facebook profile in the name of Shilpa Surendra Pratap Singh knowingly uploaded a post through the Facebook account in the public domain with deliberate and malicious intention outraged religious feelings of the complainant, thereby insulted religious belief, thus committed offence under section 295 A IPC,” said the FIR.
The FIR is lodged by Rajiv Jha, Rashtriya Hindu Yuva Vahini’s Goa unit. In the complaint, Jha drew the attention to her Facebook post of April 21, alleging it to be challenging the patriarchy and dogma by comparing Mangalsutra to a Chained dog.
Singh has also approached the police after she received abusive and threatening messages from the social media users following Jha’s social media post of October 30.
The following development came after the college submitted a written response against the complaint filed by ABVP against Singh. In response, the college has stated that it does not have a “locus standi” to raise objections about her teaching and that no termination order will be issued against her. ABVP has sought her termination, citing the reason that she is promoting “socially hateful thoughts about a particular religion”.
Complainant Jha stated that he is not aware of the ABVP matter, and therefore, he has filed a separate complaint in a personal capacity.
“Shilpa Singh has been booked under IPC Section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings). Rajiv Jha, a resident of Ponda, has been booked under IPC Sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 509 (insulting modesty of woman),” SP (north Goa) Utkrisht Prasoon confirmed the registration of FIR following the complaints by both Jha and Singh.
“She is not my friend on Facebook but we seem to have 20 to 25 mutual friends. After ABVP’s complaint, I saw this April 21 post of her on Facebook and got angry. I first approached Panaji police on October 28 and in a written note asked that she should seek public apology. Since they (police) didn’t react…we again went with a new complaint the next day [October 29),” Jha told.
He further added, ” I’m practicing Hindu Brahmin and in the video calls Singh Hindu-phobic. If she has thoughts (on religion), she should keep it to herself, and not publicise on social media. She is a professor; if this is what she writes here, (I) wonder what she must be teaching her students.”
Singh has also commented on the incident stating, “As education is not merely rote learning, I try my best to impart critical tools necessary for students of political science to understand and analyse the complexities, contradictions and emergent power relations animating the realm of politics in the world. As a teacher, I would not be fulfilling my duty, if I teach them in a sterile manner without enriching my students with real life examples that supplement the theoretical content of their source…I suspect that having failed at intimidating me at my workplace and having failed to humiliate me by getting me sacked, the present day demand for FIR and police action against me on account of my opinion on social media is just another ploy in the course of a conspiracy to defame, humiliate and break me down.”