Online education platform Unacademy has dismissed a teacher, Karan Sanghwan, who appealed to educated candidates to vote during elections. His comments were widely shared on social media through a video, which sparked controversy.
An online tutoring platform, Unacademy, saw one of its tutors’ videos go viral. “Don’t forget, when you vote next time, vote for someone who is educated, so that you don’t have to face this (exam) again. Choose someone who is educated and understands things. Don’t vote for someone who only knows how to change names. Make the right decision,” said Karan Sanghwan, a teacher at Unacademy’s online tutoring platform, as he discussed recent bills brought by the government to reform the criminal justice system in the country.
These comments were shared widely on social media through a video, which led to a controversy and subsequently, the e-learning platform accused Sanghwan of violating their code of conduct and terms of service, resulting in his dismissal.
What’s the Reason Behind the Controversy? Sanghwan was discussing the latest bill presented in the Lok Sabha by the central government to reform the British-era criminal laws. He mentioned that whatever notes he had prepared on criminal laws had become irrelevant with the name changes.
Unacademy का मोदी विरोधी एजेंडा… शिक्षा के नाम पर परोसी जा रही मोदी से नफरत
ये #Unacademy का शिक्षक करन सांगवान है जो अपरोक्ष रूप से
– PM मोदी को अनपढ़ कह रहा है
– PM मोदी को वोट न देने की अपील कर रहा है
आपको PM मोदी पसंद नहीं हैं तो उनका विरोध करें लेकिन शिक्षा की आड़ में… pic.twitter.com/SslwAZPy3a
— Abhay Pratap Singh (बहुत सरल हूं) (@IAbhay_Pratap) August 13, 2023
He stated, “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry because I have a lot of notes, nude acts, and caselaws that I had prepared.” He added, “But remember one thing, the next time you vote, choose an educated candidate so that you don’t have to go through all this again in life… Don’t vote for someone who only knows how to change names.”
These comments ignited intense debates on social media. While Sanghwan did not mention any names, many claimed he was targeting the BJP government. Some social media users accused Unacademy of promoting an “anti-Modi agenda.” Amidst this, several others criticized Sanghwan’s comments while supporting him.
After the controversy, the e-learning platform terminated Sanghwan’s contract, stating that his remarks violated their code of conduct and terms of service. Roman Saini, co-founder of Unacademy, mentioned that the company’s rules prevent teachers from sharing personal opinions in the classroom.
“To ensure that unbiased knowledge reaches our learners, we have established a strict code of conduct for all our educators. We are centered around our learners in everything we do. The classroom is not a place for sharing personal opinions and thoughts as they can influence students in the wrong way. In the current situation, we had to part ways with Karan Sanghwan as he was violating the code of conduct,” said Saini.
Responding to the controversy, Sanghwan mentioned that his students preparing for judicial service exams are facing many consequences.
“Over the last few days, a video has gone viral due to which I am in controversy, and because of this controversy, many of my students who are preparing for judicial service exams are facing a lot of consequences. Along with them, I will also have to face the consequences,” said Sanghwan. He also announced that he would share more information about the controversy on Saturday.
The decision to dismiss a teacher drew widespread criticism for Unacademy. Many, including opposition leaders, labeled this step as “inappropriate” and accused the platform of suppressing free speech. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal questioned if appealing to educated individuals to vote is a crime. Congress Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Singh Hooda termed the incident as “unfortunate,” and Shiv Sena (UBT) Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi .