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India: Statement by Delhi University Teachers in Solidarity with JNU

Thursday 25 February 2016, by siawi3


24 February 2016

Delhi University Teachers in Solidarity with JNU

We, the undersigned teachers of Delhi University, extend our solidarity with the students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University. We unequivocally condemn the police action on campus following the events of February 9, 2016, the lodging of an FIR and the arbitrary arrest of JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar on grounds of sedition, and the subsequent attack on him and other citizens within the precincts of the Patiala House courts in the presence of large numbers of police personnel.

JNU has had a long tradition of nurturing a culture of politically engaged debate. We believe that the attack on JNU is a part of a larger campaign by the state to undermine the autonomy of university campuses as spaces where all kinds of ideas and opinions, no matter how sensitive, provocative and potentially controversial, can be freely aired, critiqued and openly discussed without fear of reprisal. It is essential for institutions of higher education to foster critical thinking that engages with social and political issues. We have seen similar attacks in other spaces – our own campus and in places like the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) where we witnessed the tragic death of the scholar and activist, Rohith Vemula. The assault on JNU, coming as it does in the wake of the cutbacks in public funding for higher education, is a clear indication that the state is intent on instrumentalising patriotic sentiments for purposes of imposing an anti-constitutional, homogenized, exclusivist nationalism. In this particularly worrying manner, it seeks to stifle all dissent on campuses and in society at large, while moving simultaneously towards dismantling and destroying meaningful public education in India,.

Further, the law on sedition, a colonial era provision in the Indian Penal Code, has no place in a modern democracy. The increasing harassment and persecution by the police, of Kashmiri students, their families, and others, including teachers from Delhi University who have been branded as ‘anti national’, is unconscionable and unconstitutional. In this context, the irresponsible behaviour of some sections of the media that have incited violence with the circulation of misinformation and doctored videos is reprehensible..

We demand the release of Kanhaiya Kumar and the dropping of all charges against the students of JNU, especially the malicious and unfounded targeting of another student, Umar Khalid. As teachers and academics we ask that the autonomy of universities be nurtured so that they remain democratic spaces where debate and disagreement are upheld and respected as a critical, integral part of academic life.

Mukul Mangalik, Ramjas College.
Prabhu Mohapatra, Department of History.
Anubhuti Maurya, Bharati College
Sunalini Kumar, LSR
Aparna Balachandran, Department of History
Shahana Bhattacharya, Kirorimal College
Satyajit Singh Professor Dept of Political Science
Rajni Palriwal, Department of Sociology
Ira Singh, Miranda House
Ratna Raman Associate Professor Sri Venkateswara College
Nayana Dasgupta, Lady Shri Ram College, university of Delhi
Saswati Sengupta, Miranda House
Vibha Maurya, Professor at Delhi University
Farhat Hasan, Department of History
Upinder Singh, Professor of History, University of Delhi
D. Manjit, Dyal Singh College
Debjani Sengupta, IP College
Nandini Sundar, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University
Ruchira Das, Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi
Ankita Pandey, I.P. College
Naveen Gaur, Dyal Singh College (University of Delhi)
Suvritta Khatri, Deshbandhu College
Nalini Nayak, Assoc. Prof., (Retd), PGDAV (M) College
Parul Pandya Dhar, Department of History, University of Delhi
Rakesh Ranjan, SRCC, Delhi University
Sudha Vasan, DU
David Vumlallian Zou, Delhi Univeristy
Anita Cherian
Anirudh Deshpande, Department of History
Rekha Basu, Department of Philosophy, Hindu College
Manisha Choudhary, Department of History
Benston John, Department of Economics, St Stephen’s College
Shashi Saxena, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College
Chitra Joshi, I.P. College
Bilasini Naorem, Miranda House
Sanghamitra Misra, Department of History, University of Delhi
Apoorvanand, Department of Hindi
Rimjhim Sharma, DU
Bodh Prakash, Zakir Husain Delhi College
Sunil Kumar, Professor of History, Delhi University
Kesavan Veluthat, Department of History
Roopa Dhawan, Associate Professor, English Department, Ramjas College
P K Yasser Arafath, Department of History, University of Delhi
Sanjay Kumar, St. Stephen’s College
Seema Alavi, Department of History
Naina Dayal St Stephen’s College
Anshu Malhotra, Department of History
Anushka singh, assistant professor, gargi college
Deepika Tandon, Associate Professor, Miranda House, DU
Ranjana Das, Ramjas College
Nidhi Gulati, dept of El education, IHE
Sharmila Purkayastha. Miranda House
Tanya Roy, University of Delhi
Nandita Narain, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University
R. Geeta, Department of Botany
Nandini Chandra Department of English
Saikat Ghosh, SGTB Khalsa College
Rashmi Pant, Indraprastha Collge for Women, Delhi University.
Amrapali Basumatary, Kirori Mal College
Saumya Gupta, JDMC
Hari Sen, Ramjas College
Charu Gupta, Department of History
Vikas Gupta, Department of History, Faculty of Social Sciences, Delhi University.
Ruchita Machal - Miranda House
Rachna Singh , Assistant Professor, Department of History, Hindu College
Radhika Chopra, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Delhi
Sunita Narain, Associate professor
P K.Yasser Arafath,Department of History,University of Delhi
Archana Dixit, Bharati College
Tapan Basu, Department of English
Maitri Baruah, Hansraj College
Abha Dev Habib
Mihir Pandey, Ramjas College, University of Delhi
Rahul Govind, Department of History
Aditya Deo
Vishwa Mohan Jha, Dept of History, ARSD College, University of Delhi, New Delhi
N Sukumar, Department of Political Science
Pragati Mohapatra, IP College
Bharathi Jaganathan, Miranda House