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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Unacademy educator Varun Awasthi justifies Kashmiri terrorism, incites students for violence

An educator affiliated with edtech company, Unacademy, has made some provocative remarks in a video. The educator, Varun Awasthi seemed to have strayed into political speech while teaching and first made remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After that he warned that “all the youth of will get hold of AK47 just like they have done in Jammu and Kashmir”. He was wearing an Unacademy Tshirt and the background showed the slogans that urged people to “boycott” media, news channels, elections and government.

The confused rant implies that he believes that terrorists of Jammu and Kashmir are justified in taking up arms against the country.  In the later part of the video, he seems agitated and makes some remarks on unemployment of youth in the country. Evidently, his contention is that unemployment causes terrorism. It is important to realize that both these statements are factually wrong. I will discuss these later in the article.

Varun Awasthi

Unacademy was started by Gaurav Munjal and counts ex-IAS Roman Saini as its key member. Saini had resigned from IAS after serving for about 2 years to work with Unacademy. The startup, based in Bangalore under the name of Sorting Hat Technologies Pvt Ltd, has raised thousands of crores in funding from various sources and is valued at more than Rs. 3500 crores. It imparts lessons through video lectures for a variety of exams, specially govt recruitment exams. The educators are mostly ex-aspirants and, in some cases, successful candidates of govt exams. Unacademy has posted a response where they say that they are investigating the matter and will take action.

How govt job preparation changes people

A less discussed part of the issue is what UPSC Civil Services and other govt job exams require from a candidate and which sources the aspirant has to refer to clear the exams. I will take the example of UPSC Civil Services exam as it is universally accepted as the toughest among those and sets the tone for other exams.

The syllabus for UPSC Civil Services Exam is set using a leftist-liberal Nehruvian perspective. The syllabus of History optional was discussed partially by Sanjeev Newar on twitter recently. You can see the thread below. However, the whole syllabus has similar issues.

Indeed, in 2019 Civil Services main exam, a single question riled the liberals as it seemed to go against their ideology. The question was “What are the challenges to our cultural practices in the name of secularism?” The candidate could have answers the same according to his her understanding. This was a pertinent question raised due to issues like Sabarimala, where Supreme Court had given a controversial verdict, which is in review.

However, this question led to a lot of editorials being written on the ‘depleting standards of UPSC’. A single question in one of the papers kicked up so much dirt because the narrative taught in UPSC preparation is exclusively leftist. A student is supposed to not question and inquire, but conform to leftist paradigm. Those showing non-conformity are weeded out.

Whenever a student starts his Civil Services preparation, he is prescribed certain sources to cover the syllabus. Most of these books were written by ’eminent’ leftist professors. To take an example for modern history one has to read Bipan Chandra. Further, NCERT books, which again contain much of leftist propaganda, are a must read. Almost all the UPSC aspirants read those books and are supposed to internalize the same.

For current affairs, student is supposed to read The Hindu. It is well known that The Hindu takes the urban-naxal line and even provides platform to urban naxals to peddle their agenda. There are articles from the likes of Harsh Mandar, Arundhati Roy and P Sainath. One can read Maoists and their supporters being legitimized as activists in its pages. Naturally, the student acquires the ideology of left which glorifies struggle against government, peddles atrocity literature and analyses complex social issues only through economic lens of socialism and Marxism.


What Varun Awasthi says in the video is very much influenced by these same sources. He implies that terrorists in Kashmir pick up AK47 as they face injustice. The reality is Kashmir issue is a byproduct of jihadi mentality. When Kashmiri Hindus were forced out of their homes and hearths just 30 years ago, no Hindu took up terrorism!

However, the veneer of injustice is applied by the leftist media to sell stories and humanise the terrorists. The narrative is lapped up by impressionable readers. So for these, the lack of internet access in Kashmir is the reason for terrorism. However the same issue in remote areas of Uttarakhand does not lead to terrorism!

Similarly, the contention that unemployment causes terrorism is patently wrong. All terrorism is inspired either by ideology or religion. Economic conditions may inspire short term increase in protests but they become violent only when people are incited by people like Varun Awasthi. However, we need to ask bigger questions. People need to know why the leftist ecosystem tries to lead young people on the path of violence.

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Pawan Pandey
Pawan Pandey
Pawan Pandey is an Educator based in Dehradun, currently working as Senior Staff Writer with HinduPost. He is an Engineer by training and a teacher by passion. He teaches for Civil Service Exams as well as for Common Law Admission Test. He has deep interest in politics, economy, culture and all things Bharatiya. He fancies himself to be a loving husband and doting father. His weakness is Bharatiya food, particularly sweets. His hobbies include reading, writing and listening to Bharatiya music.


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