Statement of Solidarity with Hyderabad Central University from Columbia University, New York

This is a statement of March 29, 2016 from students, faculty and affiliates of Columbia University. We publish it below with apologies for the delay.

We, students, faculty and affiliates of Columbia University, strongly condemn the violation and atrocities brought upon the students and faculty of the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) on March 22, 2016. Since Professor Appa Rao Podile was on leave and under investigation for the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula, his return to the campus to resume duties as the Vice Chancellor was unacceptable. The students justifiably organized a peaceful protest in the campus that day. The institutional responses to that, by the University authorities, the Andhra and Telangana police force, Rapid Action Force personnel, the media, and the members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on campus, were outrageous, inhuman, and fascist. The University authorities, instructed by Prof Podile, shut down the Internet connection, dining hall and drinking water facilities in retaliation to the peaceful student protest. The Andhra and Telangana police force lathi-charged students and faculty, violently beat up and severely injured them, molested and threatened to rape female students, targeted Muslims and Dalits, abused them verbally, and eventually arrested 24 students and 3 faculty. The ABVP members resorted to violence and aggressive sloganeering from the very beginning of the students’ peaceful protest and also attacked and injured them. The mainstream media has been ignoring these atrocious events at a Central university campus and has decidedly turned away from its responsibility and its accountability to the public. This is ironic, at the very least, when some of the news anchors just last month were so focused on fabricating stories of “terrorist” and “anti-national” activities at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. The media ultimately failed to demonize the students then. Now, yet again, the media is unabashedly siding with the authoritarian regime of corporate and state power; this time by ignoring the brutality of the police and the HCU authorities.

We strongly condemn

–       the fascist abuse of power by the University authorities, who decided to deprive the students of basic facilities as ‘revenge’ for the peaceful demonstration

–      the violence, the targeting and the brutality of the police force

–   the irresponsibility of the media for not reporting this on prime time and for effectively siding with the tyrannical regime in power

–       the atrocities unleashed by the casteist, capitalist, Hindu fundamentalist government and its affiliates, especially ABVP.

Given the current regime’s unceasing acts of violence aimed at Dalit, Muslim and tribal, students and activists, as well as anyone voicing their support, we believe that this is not an isolated event. We stand against such atrocities in campuses around the country as well as in other areas under threat from the regime and its affiliates. We stand in support of the students and faculty at HCU and of the right to peaceful protest, the right to dissent and the right against state violence.

  1. Partha Chatterjee, Professor of Anthropology and MESAAS, Columbia University
  2. Gil Anidjar, Professor of Religion and MESAAS, Columbia University
  3. Aftab Ahmad, Lecturer, Hindi-Urdu, MESAAS, Columbia University
  4. Sheldon Pollock, Professor of MESAAS, Columbia University
  5. Debashree Mukherjee, MESAAS, Columbia University
  6. Allison Busch, Professor of MESAAS, Columbia University
  7. Sayori Ghoshal, PhD student, MESAAS
  8. Syantani Chatterjee, Anthropology, PhD
  9. Sayantani Mukherjee, Department of History
  10. Uponita Mukherjee, MESAAS
  11. Samyak Ghosh, PhD student
  12. Lindsey Dayton, History, GSAS
  13. Anand Venkatkrishnan, PhD 2015 (Religion)
  14. Vatsal Naresh, IRCPL
  15. William Burton, PhD student, French & Romance Philology
  16. Souad Lamrani (Visiting student)
  17. Sohini Pillai, (MESAAS MA 2015)
  18. Marianne González Le Saux, PhD candidate, History Department
  19. Victor Petrov (PhD History, Columbia)
  20. Sohaib Khan (Columbia University)
  21. Sarandha Jain, PhD, Anthropology
  22. Howard Taylor, Columbia University, Anthropology PhD
  23. Taarini Mookherjee, PhD Student English & Comparative Literature
  24. Marina Alamo-Bryan, Anthropology Department, Columbia University
  25. Anna Schirrer PhD Anthropology
  26. Selim Karlıtekin, Ph.D Candidate CU MESAAS
  27. Dominic Vendell, Ph.D. student, History
  28. Hallie Nell Swanson CC ’16
  29. Mukund Palat Rao, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  30. Tania Bhattacharyya, PhD candidate, Department of History
  31. Matan Cohen, doctoral candidate, MESAAS, Columbia University
  32. Sarah Hawas, PhD Student, MESAAS
  33. Aviroop Sengupta, PhD Student, MESAAS
  34. Rosa Klein-Baer, MA student at MESAAS
  35. Hanine Hassan, MESAAS
  36. Henny Ziai, PhD Student
  37. Karim Malak, alumni
  38. Nadia Sariahmed, GSAS, PhD student in MESAAS
  39. Catherine Ambler, GSAS
  40. Mary Ann Chacko (Teachers College)
  41. Manpreet Kaur, Religion, PhD student
  42. Wendell Marsh, MESAAS
  43. Yayra Sumah, Columbia University
  44. Ibrahim Elhoudaiby, MESAAS
  45. Vivek Yadav
  46. Zeinab Azarbadegan, Department of History
  47. Tyler Williams, alumni, Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (currently Assistant Professor, University of Chicago)
  48. A student at SIPA
  49. Anna Schirrer Department of Anthropology
  50. Irem Az, Columbia University
  51. Brian Wright, Anthropology
  52. A student, MA Art History
  53. Stefan Tarnowski, Anthropology
  54. Daniel West, PhD Anthropology
  55. Ria Gyawali, South Asian Institute
  56. Valerie Giesen GSAS Anthropology
  57. Nouri, School of Engineering and Applied Science
  58. Ashraf Abdalla, PhD Candidate
  59. Claire Gohorel, GSAS
  60. Jnee’ Hill, Columbia School of Social Work

One thought on “Statement of Solidarity with Hyderabad Central University from Columbia University, New York”

  1. 120 million dalits should ask for separate electorate and separate settlement away from barbaric hindus and there hindu led government in India if you have defence,,finance and external affair ministry means you can run India .all three ministry run by brahmins ,Jaitly,susma swaraj and guy from Goa


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