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India: Statement by Delhi University Teachers in Solidarity with JNU

24 February 2016

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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.

  1. Mukul Mangalik, Ramjas College.
  2. Prabhu Mohapatra, Department of History.
  3. Anubhuti Maurya, Bharati College
  4. Sunalini Kumar, LSR
  5. Aparna Balachandran, Department of History
  6. Shahana Bhattacharya, Kirorimal College
  7. Satyajit Singh Professor Dept of Political Science
  8. Rajni Palriwal, Department of Sociology
  9. Ira Singh, Miranda House
  10. Ratna Raman Associate Professor Sri Venkateswara College
  11. Nayana Dasgupta, Lady Shri Ram College, university of Delhi
  12. Saswati Sengupta, Miranda House
  13. Vibha Maurya, Professor at Delhi University
  14. Farhat Hasan, Department of History
  15. Upinder Singh, Professor of History, University of Delhi
  16. D. Manjit, Dyal Singh College
  17. Debjani Sengupta, IP College
  18. Nandini Sundar, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University
  19. Ruchira Das, Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi
  20. Ankita Pandey, I.P. College
  21. Naveen Gaur, Dyal Singh College (University of Delhi)
  22. Suvritta Khatri, Deshbandhu College
  23. Nalini Nayak, Assoc. Prof., (Retd), PGDAV (M) College
  24. Parul Pandya Dhar, Department of History, University of Delhi
  25. Rakesh Ranjan, SRCC, Delhi University
  26. Sudha Vasan, DU
  27. David Vumlallian Zou, Delhi Univeristy
  28. Anita Cherian
  29. Anirudh Deshpande, Department of History
  30. Rekha Basu, Department of Philosophy, Hindu College
  31. Manisha Choudhary, Department of History
  32. Benston John, Department of Economics, St Stephen’s College
  33. Shashi Saxena, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College
  34. Chitra Joshi, I.P. College
  35. Bilasini Naorem, Miranda House
  36. Sanghamitra Misra, Department of History, University of Delhi
  37. Apoorvanand, Department of Hindi
  38. Rimjhim Sharma, DU
  39. Bodh Prakash, Zakir Husain Delhi College
  40. Sunil Kumar, Professor of History, Delhi University
  41. Kesavan Veluthat, Department of History
  42. Roopa Dhawan, Associate Professor, English Department, Ramjas College
  43. P K Yasser Arafath, Department of History, University of Delhi
  44. Sanjay Kumar, St. Stephen’s College
  45. Seema Alavi, Department of History
  46. Naina Dayal St Stephen’s College
  47. Anshu Malhotra, Department of History
  48. Anushka singh, assistant professor, gargi college
  49. Deepika Tandon, Associate Professor, Miranda House, DU
  50. Ranjana Das, Ramjas College
  51. Nidhi Gulati, dept of El education, IHE
  52. Sharmila Purkayastha. Miranda House
  53. Tanya Roy, University of Delhi
  54. Nandita Narain, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University
  55. R. Geeta, Department of Botany
  56. Nandini Chandra Department of English
  57. Saikat Ghosh, SGTB Khalsa College
  58. Rashmi Pant, Indraprastha Collge for Women, Delhi University.
  59. Amrapali Basumatary, Kirori Mal College
  60. Saumya Gupta, JDMC
  61. Hari Sen, Ramjas College
  62. Charu Gupta, Department of History
  63. Vikas Gupta, Department of History, Faculty of Social Sciences, Delhi University.
  64. Ruchita Machal - Miranda House
  65. Rachna Singh , Assistant Professor, Department of History, Hindu College
  66. Radhika Chopra, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Delhi
  67. Sunita Narain, Associate professor
  68. P K.Yasser Arafath,Department of History,University of Delhi
  69. Archana Dixit, Bharati College
  70. Tapan Basu, Department of English
  71. Maitri Baruah, Hansraj College
  72. Abha Dev Habib
  73. Mihir Pandey, Ramjas College, University of Delhi
  74. Rahul Govind, Department of History
  75. Aditya Deo
  76. Vishwa Mohan Jha, Dept of History, ARSD College, University of Delhi, New Delhi 110021
  77. N Sukumar, Department of Political Science
  78. Pragati Mohapatra, IP College
  79. Bharathi Jaganathan, Miranda House