The Dialogue

Academia / Education

Mohamed Lachemi of Metropolitan University

Post On:February 6, 2023

This letter is in continuation of the Kaali Poster saga..

Mr. Roopnauth of Hindu federation assured the Hindu community of the following,
” Members of the executive of Hindu federation along with members of Canada Interfaith foundation and the center for Israel and Jewish Affairs met with senior officials from the TMU and the AK Museum and apologies were issues by both organizations. Further, a process for consultation with respect to such issues in the future was established.”

We find it reprehensible that such an apology of that nature was even accepted by Mr. Roopnauth and team! And adding fine quality salt to Hindu wounds you went ahead with the screening of the film? Makes us wonder where did the sincerity in your apology to Mr. Jayaraman vanish? https://maktoobmedia.com/2022/11/13/leena-manimekalais-kaali-screened-in-canada-protesting-hindutva/
Now we come back to your letter.
1- In your first para you conveniently ignored the fact that this offends the religious sensitives of Hindus. Quite dismissive!
2- Your second para sounds seemingly ignorant that insults your academic credentials. So, if Ms.Makimekalai makes a movie poster depicting Jesus or Allah as smoking will you screen it? Will that fulfill the mandate of MT to society? And not to ignore all those lovely words you choose to expound to us before that line?
3- On the same subject of threats, she went for it. She knows that Hindus only issue threats but do not execute them. She knows this little stunt will earn her ” manufactured sympathy” and secure herself a footing and that is exactly what happened. Is she now not a resident artist at MT? We know the history!
4- Your third para in conjunction with 2nd para sounds oxy-moronish. Did you say that she is not a TMU student yet wants to claim the privilege of academic freedom to a non-faculty member?
5- The tone and delivery of your apology sounded advisory in nature and bordering on being contempt towards Hindus.
I do not wish to discount your intelligence by taking a detour over the core issue. This poster offends religious sentiments. Being from an Abrahamic religion, yourself, and an academician I do not think that you are ignorant to acts around Charlie Hebdo or Salman Rushdie. Hindus have no such history in North America and are not capable of such acts as well. You played a active role in this saga. You knew fully well that the bogey of Hindu threats was cosmetic in nature. It was done with career objectives and with ulterior motives to demean and insult Hindus of Canada.
The biggest concern here is two fold
a) Its impact on Hindu students at Metropolitan university. You by screening the film have demonstrated bias against Hindus. We are quite concerned that biased faculty of MT will take your lead to corner, humiliate and dis-respect Hindu students of MT.
b) That your encouragement to Ms.Manimekalai will open the gates for further Hindu phobia disguised under the cover of art and academic freedom.
Please provide us with a copy of, ” a process for consultation with respect to such issues in the future was established” that Mr. Roopnauth graciously wrote about. And AKM, please provide us with a copy of the mysterious letter of apology that was referred to above!
Mr. Mohamed Lachemi, please answer the following questions
1) Why did you permit the screening of the film after an apology was issued?
2) Was the screening discussed with Mr. Roopnauth & Hindu federation?
3) Please provide proof of Ms.Makimekalai being threatened in Canada. We really wish to address that.
3) What measures are you taking to avoid backlash on Hindu students at MT?
We believe you are in your 2nd term as president of MT, and acknowledging its bad history of residential schools, the name Ryerson has been dumped for MT. Borrowing your words, should we hope that your actions will be in the spirit of transparency, fair play & mutual respect?
Would you propound discrimination in being respectful to all religion’s Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic? Your actions as of now have caused trauma and consumed tens of hours of our time in planning and preparing counter responses. We will await your response!

Gopala Krishna
Director – Dwarapalakas