Monday, 5 July 2010
Controversial question paper: Lecturer’s hand chopped off

From Indian Express

Less than four months after he sparked off a controversy for reportedly insulting Prophet Muhammed in a question paper, a college lecturer, T J Joseph, was attacked by some unidentified men who chopped off his right hand, at Muvattupuzha in central Kerala today. 

Joseph, 52, Malayalam lecturer at Catholic-run Newman College, Thodupuzha, was returning home after attending Sunday prayers at the local church when he was attacked. He was accompanied by his mother and sister. Police have taken into custody two suspected activists of the right-wing Popular Front of India. Joseph has been admitted to the Specialist Hospital in Kochi.

In April this year, Joseph was arrested after a question paper set by him triggered protests by Muslims. He was later released on bail. 

The question paper, for an internal degree exam in March, contained a text taken from an article written by P T Kunjumuhammed, a director of several award-winning films and former CPI(M) legislator. 

Referring to his film Garshom, Kunjumuhammed explained in the article that the thread for a scene in the movie, in which the protagonist speaks to God, was picked from his own experience about a madman who used to speak to God. While reproducing the conversation as a passage for punctuation, Joseph replaced the mad man with Muhammed, thus making it seem like a dialogue between God and Muhammed. 

Protesting against the question paper, Muslim organisations, particularly the Popular Front of India and Jamaat-e-Islami, had said it was an insult to Prophet Muhammed. The issue soon gained communal colour, leading to violent incidents in Thodupuzha region. There were attempts to trigger communal violence, after protesters targeted a temple in the town. 

Joseph, who first went into hiding, later surrendered before the police. Meanwhile, the university suspended him for a year. Out on bail, Joseph had earlier complained to the police about a threat to his life. Today’s attack has evoked widespread protests from all political parties.

Posted on 07/05/2010 3:58 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
7 Jul 2010

The passage was approved by  "Mahatma Gandhi University Kottayam" to be included  in 2nd language(Malayalam) syllabus.

I find him innocent, this indecent is the product of a misunderstanding also a perfectly executed conspiracy.

The people here especially the church going people around here are terrified by this heinous crime. I am sad that my home town
won't be the same again.

Due to early sparks between the church(Collage management) and leftist(AKPCTA an association for  teachers in private collages) whos
Joseph was in-charge, they didn't support him. This paved the matter to worsen following  question paper incident.

The passage he used is a thread for a scene, in which the protagonist speaks to God. While reproducing the conversation as a passage
for punctuation, Joseph replaced the mad man with Muhammed, thus making it seem like an imaginative dialogue between God and
Muhammed(I believe he used it because it is rather a common name among Muslim people, 17% of the people in this area has the name Muhammad!
what is the fist name that came to your mind when you say Muslim). He might not have been aware of the hidden dangers and its consequences
that awaited.

FAYI: I will quote the translated version of actual passage. Remember this story has been approved by university officials, and no one
seems to be concerned with the author(Ex CPI M MLA P.T. Kunhumuhammad, when he wrote it?) and the university officials(when they
sanctioned the it?) whom told this poor lecturer to teach his pupil?

    protagonist : God, God.
    God : What is it you son of a bitch?
    protagonist : How many pieces will we get if we cut one Mackerel(a type of fish)?
    God : dog! I have told you so many times that there will be 3 pieces.

More information about the passage:

It might be had to the non malayales, but for sake of my story.

Book for students: "Trirakkathakalude Samaharam(A collection of screen plays)" compiled/published by the language institue for Degree students.
Root: "Thirakkadha - Oru Viswasiyude Kandethal(My screen plays - Findings of a believer)" Written by well know author and screen play writer, P.T. Kunhumuhammad.

See the URL below for Malayam version.

www [dot] kenneyjacob [dot] com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/conrovertialquestion.JPG

I don't know if any one will hear what the lecturer have to say, nobody did, nobody wanted to. People of this town feels
ashamed that we didn't paid the attention he deserved.  Sorry we couldn't protect you sir!

The barbarians were after his head they could have killed him, but they didn't get the opportunity  because other people returning
from church saw this indecent and tried to resist, made sounds, started throwing stones at those fanatics. What else they could do
against, armed(with swords, grenades(localy made) and axe;) well built hit-men. Aware of the presence of others they flee the crime
scene, using grenades as cover.

Earlier, at the time of investigation about the controversy that caused Sundays incedend, police acted the part of barbarians, police kidnapped the teachers son
and held him hostage to make the teacher surrender himself!

I plead you people to pray for Mr. Joseph, his son, daughter, wife, sister, his 83 year old mother to your God.

This crime wont be investigated to its fullest, people who are captured are not the master minds. We know who are pulling strings
behind the scene, political parties in Kerala wants to take advantage of this mishap in upcoming election.

When I heared this incedent narrated by my mom who witnessed this mishap, I couldn't sleep for 3 nights, I couldn't eat. I
feel fire inside me. Can u imagine what it looks like when u lose your forearm halfway down? hoo.. I don't have words to
describe the pain he might went through. He was concious till the end, and had convolved his body into a fetal position with pain when rescue arrived.

And do you know what a Muslim guy said hearing this?

"and that concludes Josephs arrogance!!"

Serious, still in ICU, doctors are not sure whether the micro vascular surgery will be success; talked to one of the malayalam media just to say he

>"forgave those who chopped his hands!!".