Vashi Mant Sharma, a faculty at IIT-Kanpur, who exposed the students reciting a poem of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, a Pakistani Marxist, spoke exclusively to MyNation, on the issues of wilful endeavour by a few media houses like ThePrint and Indian Express to defame him and cause him physical harm.
Bengaluru: Vashi Mant Sharma is a faculty at IIT-Kanpur. In his early thirties, he is an enthusiastic social worker, who has dedicated his life, apart from teaching, for social causes such as Dalit uplift.
Most importantly, he shot to limelight as he exposed the students on the campus demonstrating against the alleged attacks by police on Jamia Millia University and the poem of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, a Pakistani poet was read as a mark of protests.
The moment he dared to expose the black sheep, a few media houses have resorted to smear campaign, wilfully trying to defame him with an intent to cause physical harm to him.
MyNation caught up with the man in question had a chat, to understand his side of the story.
Q: Please tell us about the vilification campaign that you were subjected to.
A: Some media groups like The Print and Indian Express have published my picture like that of a goon in the article they wrote about me and gave away important details like my age etc.
Senior journalist Shekhar Gupta termed me anti-Dalit and anti-Muslim and portrayed me to be an opponent of love jihad, as if my claims are wrong. They also tried to portray me negatively as a supporter of gau rakshak.
A reporter by name Prashant from The Print misquoted me. I told him specifically that I work for the uplift of Dalits. But the story that appeared after he interviewed me was completely opposite to what I had said.
I created a thread on Twitter, about the audio conversation I had had with the reporter. He called me up later and even apologised to me for the unfaithful reporting that had been done. I told him you and Nimmy Sharma (sic) are the authors of this article. And he confessed to me saying he just provided the contents that I had given him to his higher-ups. It was people up the hierarchy who had done such a negative and nefarious profiling.
They even cherry-picked content on the internet and quoted me as saying, “I have an army of men ready to liberate Muslims.” But I don’t know where they got this from. They tried to portray me as a fanatic. They published my pictures in an effort to portray me as a fanatic and anti-Muslim. It was done with an aim of causing me physical harm. It was a sustained ploy to defame and instigate others to attack me.
Even Indian Express tried to misquote me. A Muslim friend of mine named Khaja took to Twitter and stood by me, saying I am like an elder brother to him. He clearly exposed The Print and Indian Express. Even then, these people didn’t apologise.
I have also posted things about how I have helped Dalits like getting them compensation worth crores for subjugation they faced. These media houses didn’t publish this bit of news.
Q: What is your take on the violence that took place on JNU campus on Sunday (January 5) night? Are universities turning out to be repertoire of political ideologies?
A: I am really worried about what is happening in JNU. I believe universities should be used for academic and extracurricular activities. If you make students a gang who shout “Azadi gang” who are they trying to snatch freedom from? All these anti-India slogans were shouted during Kanhaiya Kumar’s time. How do you expect progress to thrive in such an environment? I urge government of India and people in administration to bowdlerise the universities of such troublesome activities.
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Last Updated 6, Jan 2020, 4:45 PM