After the arrest of JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar on 12 February and the entry of the police into JNU Campus, the situation has worsened for our students over the last few days. Sections of the mainstream and social media have carried unsubstantiated rumours targeting students, and organised groups have been making threats against them and indulging in hate speech in order to intimidate. The viciousness of this section of the media and amounts to a public trial and the frightening abuses being hurled at them make us feel deeply concerned for their personal safety and possibilities of their obtaining justice.
We strongly condemn these acts that create an environment of extreme prejudice and potential violence. We demand that the campus be allowed to return to normalcy at the soonest, so that students can return to their regular academic life in an atmosphere of trust and safety. The slander campaign against the University based on unsubstantiated claims not only tarnishes JNU’s image as one of best regarded institutions of higher education in the country, it also destroys JNU’s peaceful academic life. We are deeply concerned about the students’ future, which is being affected by this malicious campaign against JNU.
We the teachers of JNU wish that the Indian people should see through this orchestrated design to transform JNU into a space which will be unable to encourage or sustain critical thinking, so vital to the functioning of our democracy and our nation. It will also endanger the futures of thousands of students who are uncertain about the consequences that such a sustained campaign will have on their futures. We call upon the broadest possible sections of the Indian people to preserve the character of this much cherished national institution.
Vinay Kumar Ambedkar
Mallarika Sinha Roy