Thiruvananthapuram: Despite widespread
criticism against its action, the management of the church-run
Newman College has rejected the plea of lecturer TJ Joseph
to revoke his dismissal for setting a question paper which
hurt the sentiments of Muslims and for which his hand was
hacked off by activists of a radical outfit.
In his reply to Joseph`s personal appeal, college manager
Fr Thomas Malekkudy made it clear yesterday that the
explanations of Joseph were not convincing at all
and any relaxation of the disciplinary action would be based
only on the decision of the court, church sources said.
The management held that Joseph, in his reply to any of
the letters sent by the college since the controversy broke
out, had ever admitted that he committed a serious mistake
through preparing the controversial question.
Instead, the management maintained, after the question
sparked controversy and created social unrest, the lecturer
had tried to shed personal responsibility for the situation
and sought to put the blame on the college principal and the
The serious mistake committed by Joseph was acknowledged
by the government itself by charging a case against you, the
Incidentally the management has toughened its position
close on the heels of the Syndicate of Mahatma Gandhi
University directing the college to reconsider the decision as
the due procedures were not followed by the college
authorities in the case.
Reacting to the Syndicate`s stand, the college authorities
yesterday said they would respond to it on getting the order
Joseph was suspended from service in March last after a
question set by him for the internal examination of Malayalam
sparked outcry from Muslim outfits, alleging it contained
derogatory references to Prophet Muhammad.
In a shocking turn of event, Joseph was waylaid by a gang
while he was returning from church at Muvvattupuzha on a
Sunday in July and his right hand was chopped off.
Radical outfit Popular Front of India was suspected to be
behind the attack on Joseph and several of its activists had
Joseph received yet another blow last week with the
college management dismissing him from service, an action which
triggered much public outcry.
Two days back Joseph made a personal plea to the college
management to take him back to service as his family relied
totally on the income from his job.