Guest Post by Democratic Students’ Alliance, Pakistan
17th February, 2016
Dear Student friends of JNU, Delhi
The issue of academic freedom is one that is tied to the essence of education itself: to think, to question, to speak and probe, to understand, to challenge and to learn.
The strangulation of political and academic freedoms is a dark hallmark of despotic and authoritarian societies and governments which aim to silence and subjugate. State intrusion in intellectual spaces is an assault on democratic rights and liberties; academic freedom must not be subordinated to state agendas. We believe that political freedoms are central to a democratic state and that their suspension leads to nothing but danger.
We reject the charges of sedition, subversion and treason that are used to silence, suppress and smother voices that do not resonate with state-sanctioned truths and resonate beyond state-imposed parameters of intellectual, political, cultural and social thought and action.
We, the members of the Democratic Students Alliance, know well the struggle and cost of challenging state narratives. We strive for the revival of student unions in Pakistan and admire their existence in India, for we believe students of this region are forces that can salvage the future of our countries from the archaic but potent forces of myopia, hate and coercion that have held out countries hostage.
It is in the spirit of these ideas that we strongly condemn the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar (JNUSU), the attack on JNU and extend our solidarity and lend our entire support to the brave students standing against this injustice.
Across the border, we stand in unity and solidarity.
More power to you, more power to students.