T.J. Joseph, professor of Malayalam at the Newman College, Thodpuzha, whose services were terminated by the college management in September 2010 over alleged blasphemy, is set to resume duties on Friday and retire from service next Monday.
The college management announced its willingness to reinstate Prof. Joseph last week on “humanitarian grounds” after his wife Salome, 48, committed suicide out of depression.
Prof. Joseph’s right palm was chopped off by activists of the Popular Front of India in July 2010. (It was rejoined after a 15-hour surgical procedure at a Kochi hospital.)
The attack came in retaliation for Prof. Joseph allegedly blaspheming Prophet Mohammed in a question paper he set in March 2010 for B. Com. students.
The question contained a passage, a conversation between one Mohammed and God, for correcting punctuations. The passage was extracted from a thesis on screenplay-writing by film director P. T. Kunjumohammed.
Though Prof. Joseph explained that the passage was taken from a published work and that the Mohammed in the passage was only an acknowledgement of the author of the thesis on screenplay, criminal charges were brought against him.
The college authority suspended him from service immediately after the charges and his services were terminated. But the Thodupuzha Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court exonerated him in 2013.
Though Mahatma Gandhi University revoked his suspension, the college management refused to reinstate him.
Earlier, Prof. Joseph had filed an appeal before the University Appellate Tribunal seeking to be reinstated.