Harvard Univ snubs Subramanian Swamy for article on Muslims

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Subramanian Swamy
New York, Dec 8: With Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy on a moral high ground following the acceptance of his plea to resume probe into Union Home Minister P Chidamabaram's role into the 2G scam, the joy seems to be short lived when he received another setback. This time the hit has come from abroad when the prestigious Harvard University decided to remove the course taught by Swamy.

The decision was made after the controversial comments he made on Muslims sparked extreme reactions for those living in India and abroad. The University has decided to suspend the courses taught by Swamy in its annual summer school session. The controversial article on Islamic terrorism was termed 'reprehensible' by the University. [Read: Subramanian Swamy's article sparks controversy]

The huge decision was made in a meeting of Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences where the faculty members voted in favour of the decision with an "overwhelming majority". The two courses that were suspended include Quantitative Methods in Economics and Business and Economic Development in India and East Asia. Swamy teaches the said course at the three-month Harvard Summer School session.

The meeting was called to approve the 2012 Summer School course catalogue. The meet ended in a heated debate when Comparative Religion Professor Diana Eck proposed an amendment to remove Swamy's courses from the catalogue. The details were revealed by the Harvard Crimson.

The article published in an Indian newspaper in July 2011 saw Swamy making acidic remarks that recommended that only those Muslims in India who "acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus" should be allowed to vote.

Comparative Religion Professor Diana Eck, commented on the article and said that Swamy's op-ed "clearly crosses the line by demonising an entire religious community and calling for violence against their sacred places." She added that Harvard held a moral responsibility to not relate themselves with a person who had obvious hatred to a minority group. Eck also stated, "There is a distinction between unpopular and unwelcome political views."

In an earlier instance, more than 400 students had signed a petition calling for Swamy's removal. Harvard had stood by Swamy then and stated that the University stood firm to its commitment to free speech principles.

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