Statement of Solidarity FromFaculty and Graduate Students at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa Against Police Ation on JNU Campus

 

To: Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar

Vice Chancellor

Jawaharlal Nehru University

New Delhi-110 067, India

We—the faculty and students at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa whose work and teaching focus on India and South Asia—write to condemn the brutal assault on free speech taking place at Indian universities, most recently and visibly at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi, and in the society at large, as well as to express our solidarity with the students and teachers at JNU as well as others who are standing up to authoritarianism. The government of India has for some time used colonial-era black laws—such as charges of sedition—as well as punitive detention and other similar measures to stifle dissent and induce fear. What could be more anti-national than an extremely vague definition of the ‘anti-national’ subject to any and all whims of the current regime? The government gives itself license to imprison people purely on the basis of thoughts and opinions, as witnessed by the recent arrests of Kanhaiya Kumar and Sar Geelani, the hounding of Umar Khalid, etc.. These highhanded and anti-democratic tactics are those of an exploitative, occupying power, and they were frequently employed by the British colonial state.  There is therefore nothing patriotic or ‘national’ about the attempt to police thought and opinion.  It is a severe insult to the martyrs of the freedom struggle and to all those who have struggled against oppression in India’s history.

 

In protest and solidarity,

 

Jesse Ross Knutson, Assistant Professor, Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures

Monica Ghosh, South Asia Studies Librarian & Interim Director, Center for South Asian Studies

Monisha Das Gupta, Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies

Subramanian Shankar, Professor, Department of English, Director of Creative Writing

Sankaran Krishna, Professor, Department of Political Science

Ned Bertz, Associate Professor, Department of History

Miriam Sharma, Professor, Asian Studies

Sai Bhatawadekar, Associate Professor, Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures

Anna Stirr, Assistant Professor, Asian Studies

Arindam Chakrabarti, Professor, Department of Philosophy

Vrinda Dalmiya, Professor and Undergraduate Chair, Department of Philosophy

Priyam Das, Assistant Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Ashok Das, Assistant Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Akta Kaushal, PhD Student, Department of Political Science

Rajiv Mohabir, PhD student, Department of English

Richard Forster, Graduate Student, History Department,

Sarah Jamal, PhD Candidate, (visiting from Aberystwyth University)

Tamara Luthy, PhD Student, Departments of Botany and Anthropology

Irmak Yazici, PhD Student, Department of Political Science

Anjoli Roy, PhD Student, Department of English

Lisa Widdison, Graduate Assistant/Instructor, Department of Philosophy

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