Bangalore Research Network’s Letter of Solidarity with JNU

 

We, the undersigned members of the Bangalore Research Network and a consortium of academics and researchers from Bangalore, declare our solidarity with the students and faculty of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi protesting the illegal police arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar on charges of sedition. We unequivocally stand by them in affirming that universities are autonomous spaces for the free expression of a plurality of beliefs and cannot become military spaces of thought control that go against the very grain of a democratic society.  With them, we condemn the blatantly authoritarian attempt by the police and the central government to witch hunt students on the basis of their political beliefs. We also condemn the unethical media trial of JNU students such as Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid.

In a speech that is now widely available on the internet, Kanhaiya Kumar spoke critically of the BJP government policies at a peaceful student meeting held at JNU which was well within his rights by the laws of the land.  This occurred a day after a group of unidentified students shouted slogans at an event that he had no part in organizing.  Legal luminaries have opined that those slogans about the rights of Kashmiris to independence from Indian military oppression over the last few decades, whether one might agree with them or not, do not amount to sedition.  Kanhaiya Kumar was, however, arrested by the police for ‘anti-national’ behaviour and for violating sedition laws against incitement of violence.  With no proof to substantiate the charge of sedition, his arrest can only be read as a reflection of the authoritarian nature of the current Indian government and its intolerance to any dissent. JNU is but the latest example of attempts to stifle dissenting student voices in university campuses across India, including others at FTII, BHU and University of Hyderabad. This is reflective of the current climate where higher education is being viewed as purely instrumental, captured by the logics of the neoliberal state and capital.

As researchers, scholars, and academics, we are extremely concerned with the manner in which the ruling government has so blatantly set aside India’s longstanding commitment to plurality in belief. The space and freedom to express diverse and divergent beliefs and opinions are the foundations for critical thought and expression that university spaces cultivate. We urge the Vice Chancellor of JNU, who gave the police permission to wrongfully detain and arrest JNU students, to recognize the momentum of support building up for them and to immediately step in to safeguard their rights.

Dated: February 22, 2016

Signatures in alphabetical order

  1. Abeer Kapoor, Alumnus, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  2. Abhishek Hazra, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore
  3. Aditi Arur, Consultant, J-PAL South Asia, Bangalore
  4. Amman Madan, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru
  5. Andrea Wright, Department of Anthropology, Brown University, Rhode Island
  6. Anjali Shivanand, Centre for Child and the Law, National Law School of India University, Bangalore
  7. Aparna Sundar, Visiting Faculty, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  8. Andaleeb Rahman, Postdoctoral Fellow, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore
  9. Anwesa Bhattacharya, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  10. Archit Guha, Centre for Public History, Bangalore
  11. Asha Verma, Alumnus, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  12. Ashwin, Independent Researcher, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  13. Atreyee Majumder, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  14. Avishek Ray, NIT Silchar
  15. Bitasta Das, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  16. Debjani Banerjee, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore
  17. Devaki, L., Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  18. Dhruva Desai, Alumnus, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  19. Elizabeth Thomas, Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore
  20. Gayatri Menon, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  21. Garima Jain, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore
  22. Girija K P, Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore
  23. Gowri Vijayakumar, Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
  24. Hemangini Gupta, Department of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, Colby College, Maine
  25. Issac Arul Selva, Human Rights Activist, Bangalore
  26. Jasmeen Patheja , Blank Noise.
  27. Jyothsna Belliappa, Bengaluru
  28. Kanthi Krishnamurthy, Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore
  29. Kavya Murthy, Bangalore
  30. Kinnari Pandya, Azim Premji University, Benguluru
  31. K Ravichandran, Student, Azim Premji University , Bangalore
  32. Lakshmi Arya, Independent scholar and writer, Bangalore
  33. Lata Mani, Independent Researcher, Bengaluru
  34. Lindsay Vogt, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara
  35. Madhu Bhushan, Independent (re)searcher-activist, Bangalore
  36. Manisha Anantharaman, Justice Community and Leadership, Saint Mary’s College of California
  37. Maia Barkaia,(JNU, 2010), Tbilisi State University (Tbilisi) and University of Oxford, Oxford.
  38. Manu V. Mathai, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  39. Muthatha Ramanathan, Bangalore
  40. Navdeep Mathur, IIM Ahmedabad
  41. Narendra Raghunath, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore
  42. Neenu Suresh, National Law School of India University, Bangalore
  43. Nikunja S. Bhuyan, Student, Azim Premji University, Bangalore.
  44. Nimisha Agarwal, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore
  45. Nitya V, Bengaluru
  46. Padma Baliga, St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru
  47. Padmini Ray Murray, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore
  48. Pallavi Gaur, Student, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  49. Pooja Sagar, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore
  50. P. P. Sneha, Bangalore
  51. Prakriti Prajapati, Researcher, ATREE, Bengaluru
  52. Pranesh Prakash, Bangalore
  53. Preeti Kharb, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore
  54. Rajeev Kumaramkandath, Christ University, Bengaluru
  55. Rameshwara Nand Jha, Alumnus, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  56. Rashmi Sawhney, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore
  57. Renny Thomas (JNU 2015), Department of Sociology, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi
  58. Riddhi Pandey, Student, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  59. Robert M Geraci, Manhattan College (former Visiting Scholar at IISc), New York
  60. Rolla Das, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore
  61. Sanam Roohi, NIAS, Bangalore and AISSR, University of Amsterdam
  62. Sarah Jacobson, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  63. Savitha Suresh Babu, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore
  64. Sahil Sasidharan, Associate – Academics & Research, IIHS, Bangalore/Bengaluru
  65. Sazana Jayadeva, The German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg
  66. Scott Sorrell, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University, New York
  67. Sharad Sure, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  68. Sharmadip Basu, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  69. Shoibal Chakravarty, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore
  70. Shreyas Sreenath, Department of Anthropology, Emory University, Atlanta
  71. Shreyas Srivatsa, Urban Planner & Architect, Bangalore
  72. Shrishtee Bajpai, Alumnus, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  73. Shruti Ajit, Researcher, Kalpavriksh, Pune
  74. Simy Joy, Independent Researcher, Ely, England
  75. Smriti Srinivas, NAGARA, Bangalore
  76. Soundarya Iyer, Student, NIAS, Bangalore
  77. Sreechand Tavva, Post Graduate Student, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  78. Sreeparna Chattopadhyay, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  79. Subadra Panchanadeswaran, Adelphi University, New York
  80. Subir Rana, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore
  81. Sufaid V, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  82. Sunandan, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  83. Sunayana Ganguly, Independent researcher and entrepreneur, Bangalore
  84. Suraj Jacob, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  85. Tarang Singh, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  86. Tathagata Biswas. Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  87. Vasanthi Mariadass, Srishti Institute for Art Design and Technology, Bangalore
  88. V R Vachana, Alumna, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  89. Vidhya Raveendranathan, Centre For Modern Indian Studies, Georg- August- University, Gottingen, Germany
  90. Vikas Maniar, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  91. Vinay K Sreenivasa, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore
  92. Vineeta, Alumnus, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  93. Vineeth Krishna E, Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bangalore
  94. Vivek Mishra, Alumnus, Azim Premji Univerisity, Bangalore
  95. Vrashali Khandelwal, Student, Azim Premji University, Bangalore

2 thoughts on “Bangalore Research Network’s Letter of Solidarity with JNU

  1. Zafar

    Its proud to see some friends’ name in the list. हम लड़ेंगे साथी उदास मौसम के लिए, हम लड़ेंगे साथी गुलाम इच्छाओं के लिए – पाश

  2. Kumar Prashant

    भाषा और तर्क के कुछ परिवर्तनों के साथ मैं इस वक्तव्य से सहमत हूं। हमें इस अत्यंत नाजुक वक्त में, राष्ट्र और राज्य के फर्क को भूल कर कुछ कहना या करना नहीं चाहिए अन्यथा हम समाज का समर्थन खो बैठेंगे और उनके हाथ में हथियार दे बैठेंगे।

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