Statement Against the Harassment of Dr Rajshree Ranawat


It is extremely disturbing that Dr. Rajashree Ranawat, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur, has been suspended by her university for having supposedly “disobeyed” the orders of the university.  The suspension letter does not mention which orders she has not obeyed.

It can therefore be concluded that Dr. Ranawat is being punished for having invited Prof. Nivedita Menon as a speaker in an academic conference which had academics and civil society workers from different disciplinary and ideological backgrounds participating in it. The conference was very successful with students and teachers interacting with outstation scholars in a free atmosphere. After its conclusion, a nasty campaign was launched by some newspapers that Prof Ranawat as organiser had provided a platform to a “controversial” person like Prof. Menon who used the occasion to malign the image of Indian soldiers, questioned the accession of Kashmir to India and insulted the integrity of India by inverting its map.

The news reports all quote just one person who was present at the lecture, who had got into an argument with Prof Menon, and who later misreported and distorted to the media what was actually said and meant. For example, a map cannot be “inverted” because the globe is round, which was precisely the point of the speaker. Prof Menon has since then written about the points made in her lecture and it is clear that the news reports are either downright false or misleading.

Regretfully, the University authorities, instead of defending their employee and colleague who was responsible for making this huge conference a success, caved in to the pressure of the goonda elements and went to the extent of filing police complaints against Prof Menon and Dr. Ranawat.

Agitation by ABVP and other such elements started in and around the campus against Dr. Ranawat and the pressure on Dr Ranawat was so great that she felt unsafe in her campus accommodation in which she lives by herself.

It is quite inexplicable that the university authorities instituted an internal enquiry to find out the facts after having lodged police complaints against Dr. Ranawat. This act, in itself shows that the authorities had reached a conclusion even before knowing the facts.

Dr. Ranawat was in regular correspondence with the police and the internal committee. It is clear from her letter to them she was ready to present herself before the committee with all the relevant documents. Her only request was that in view of the hateful and violent campaign against her, she should be ensured security to make her movement possible.

The callous response of the committee to her legitimate request for security has shocked us. That a woman employee is denied security even in the light of the evident threat before her raises questions about the sensitivity of the university authority in this regard.

Her inability to appear before the committee in the absence of security has been taken as an act of disobedience. The hurry in which a special meeting of the highest body of the university was called only to deliberate on the report of the committee is also disturbing. That it decided to suspend Dr. Ranawat based on only the interim report is again a travesty of justice.

The harassment that Dr. Ranawat is facing at the hands of her university authorities is a matter of great concern for all of us who are interested in young bright minds joining the teaching profession. If this is the fate of a young scholar who performs her duty of exposing her students to the excellent minds in the field of scholarship, then a person like her would think twice before joining a university in India.

We are utterly dismayed by the role played by the media. It published totally concocted, tendentious reports and in fact led a campaign against Dr. Ranawat and Prof. Menon. It is a fact that none of the newspapers had their reporters in the conference and yet they kept writing about the deliberation in the conference citing just the one person who was clearly politically motivated. They did not bother to verify their information with Dr. Ranawat or with anybody else present at the event.

We are concerned that even a responsible and respected newspaper like the Rajasthan Patrika has published an extremely insensitive report carrying the photograph of Dr. Ranawat alongside those of criminals who are accused of crimes like rape and corruption and are evading law or absconding, claiming that she belongs to this category.

This vicious campaign against Dr. Rajshree Ranawat must stop immediately. The university authorities must revoke her suspension and make all efforts to make her feel secure.

We also call upon our colleagues and students in Jai Narain Vyas University and other universities of Rajasthan and in the larger academic community to speak up for Dr. Ranawat and the larger cause of academic freedom which is under severe stress in India.


  1. Apoorvanand, Professor, Dept of Hindi, University of Delhi
  2. Satish Deshpande, Professor, University of Delhi
  3. Sohail Hashmi Writer Film Maker Delhi
  4. Dhruv Narayan Managing Editor Daanish Books
  5. Achin Vanaik, Former Professor, Dept of Political Science, University of Delhi
  6. Ania Loomba, Professor, English Dept, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  7. Aditya Nigam, Professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
  8. Himanshu Pandya, Dept of Hindi, ABP Rajakiya Mahavidyalay, Dungarpur, Rajasthan
  9. Mohan Shrotriya, Retired college teacher, Jaipur, Rajasthan
  10. Kanak Tiwari, Senior Advocate, Chhattisgarh High Court, Bilaspur
  11. Jayati Ghosh, Professor, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, JNU
  12. Anand Teltumbde, Professor, Goa Institute of Management, Goa
  13. Uma Chakravarty, Historian, Delhi
  14. Anand Chakravarty, Sociologist, Delhi
  15. Nandini Sundar, Professor, Dept of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University
  16. Suvir Kaul, A.M. Rosenthal Professor, Dept of English, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  17. Udaya Kumar, Professor, Centre for English Studies, JNU
  18. Dilip Menon, Professor, Centre for Indian Studies in Africa, University of Witswatersand, Johannesburg
  19. Suren Pillai, Centre for Humanities Research, University of Western Cape, South Africa
  20. Shireen Hassim Political Studies, University of Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  21. Srirupa Roy, Professor, Centre for Modern Indian Studies, University of Gottingen, Germany
  22. Dr Rashmi Varma Dept of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick, UK
  23. P.K. Datta, Professor, Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Thought, JNU
  24. Pritam Singh Professor of Economics, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK
  25. Vinay Gidwani, Professor, Geography and Global Studies, University of Minnesota, USA
  26. Anandhi Shanmugasundaram, Professor, Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai
  27. Shohini Ghosh, Professor, AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Milia Islamia
  28. Tarangini Sriraman, Assistant Professor, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  29. Jinee Lokaneeta, Drew University, USA
  30. Harsh Mander, Activist, Delhi
  31. Harjinder Singh ‘Laltu’, Poet and Faculty member, IIIT, Hyderbad
  32. Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Professor, Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Thought, JNU
  33. Dr Priyamvada Gopal, Facullty of English, University of Cambridge, UK
  34. Roma Dey, Ph D Scholar, JNU
  35. Anand Vivek Taneja, Assistant Professor, Religious Studies and Anthropology, Vanderbilt University
  36. Moinak Biswas, Professor Film Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata
  37. Janaki Srinivasan, Assistant Professor, Panjab University, Chandigarh
  38. Eleanor Newbigin, Senior, lecturer, History department, SOAS, University of London
  39. Monobina Gupta, Journalist, Delhi
  40. Prasanta Chakravarty, Dept of English, University of Delhi
  41. Mukulika Banerjee Director, South Asia Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK
  42. Naveen Chander, Fellow, IGK Work and Human Life Cycle, Humboldt University
  43. Sanjeeb Mukherjee, Political scientist, formerly with Calcutta University
  44. Hilal Ahmed, Associate Professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
  45. Debaditya Bhattacharya, Assistant Professor, Nivedita College, University of Calcutta
  46. Naveen Gaur, Dayal Singh College, Delhi University
  47. Rajnikant Mudgal, former President, Hindustan Times Employees Union, Delhi
  48. Jai Sen, CACIM – India Institute for Critical Action, New Delhi
  49. Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Artist, Raqs Media Collective, Delhi
  50. Prakash Upadhyay, Senior Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
  51. Nandita Narain, Associate Professor, University of Delhi
  52. Rana Behal, Associate Professor of History (retd), Deshbandhu College, University if Delhi
  53. Pallav, Hindu College, University of Delhi
  54. Suki Iyer, Dsiturbed Citizen at large, Entrepreneur
  55. Chamarthi Sadasiva, Associate Professor, Botany, Dayal Singh College, Delhi University
  56. Shobhana Warrier, Associate Professor, Hansraj College, Delhi University
  57. Dr C.P. Geevan, Independent Researcher, Centre for Environment and Social Concerns, Ahmedabad
  58. Dr Mohan Rao, Professor, Centre for Community Health and Social Medicine, JNU
  59. Lalit Batra, Research Scholar, University of Minnesota, USA
  60. Rohit De, Assistant Professor, Dept of History, Yale University, USA
  61. Aniruddh Deshpande, Professor, Dept of History, Delhi University
  62. Amar Kanwar, Film maker
  63. Aftab Alam, Assistant Professor, Zakir Husain Delhi College, University of Delhi
  64. Admiral L. Ramdas, Former Chief of Indian Navy, Magsaysay Awardee for Peace, Gaurav Puruskar [Maharashtra Govt], Alibag, India
  65. Lalita Ramdas, Activist, Alibag
  66. Rohit Prajapati, Activist, Gujarat
  67. Manjari Katju, Associate Professor, Dept of History, University of Hyderabad
  68. Sandeep Meel, Writer and Research scholar, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur
  69. Amitesh, Researcher, Delhi
  70. Subhash Gatade, Activist and writer, Delhi
  71. Sujata Madhok, Journalist, Delhi
  72. Roger Alexander, Journalist, Jaipur, Rajasthan
  73. Pamela Philipose, Journalist, Delhi
  74. Devendra Kumar Bishnoi, Ph. D scholar, University of Hyderabad
  75. Dharmaraj Kumar, Research scholar, JNU
  76. I. Ahmed, Theatre activist, Jeevit Mati Kisan Samiti
  77. Mukul Sharma, Professor, Indian Institute of Mass Communication
  78. Sadan Jha, Associate Professor, Centre for Social Studies, Surat, Gujarat
  79. Arundhati Ghosh, Executive Director, India Foundation for the Arts
  80. Rajshree Chandra, Associate Professor, University of Delhi
  81. Bindu K.C., Associate Professor, Ambedkar University Delhi
  82. Naren Singh Rao, former Academic Associate, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi
  83. Rukmini Sen, Associate Professor, School of Liberal Studies, Ambedkar University, Delhi
  84. Sandhya, Social Activist, Stree Mukti Sangathan, Allahabad
  85. Selvyn Jussy, Professor, Dept of Linguistics, Calcutta University
  86. Radhika Menon, Academic, Delhi Teachers Initiative
  87. Ashish Kothari, Environmentalist, Pune
  88. Chandan Gowda, Associate Professor, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  89. Bhupendra Yadav, Professor, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
  90. Anupama Rao, Associate Professor, History, Barnard College, Columbia University
  91. J. Devika, Associate Professor, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram
  92. Manas Ray, Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
  93. Purushottam Agrawal, former professor, JNU and writer
  94. K. Satyanarayana, Professor, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad
  95. Vipin Kumar Chirakkara, Associate Professor, English and Foreign Languages University, Lucknow Campus
  96. Ajay Skaria, Professor, University of Minnesota, USA
  97. Shivani Nag, Academic, Delhi Teachers Initiative
  98. Ayesha Kidwai, JNU
  99. Kalyani Menon-Sen, Feminist Learning Partnerships
  100. Anuradha Banerji, Ambedkar University, Delhi.
  101. Susie Tharu, Formerly Professor, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad
  102. Shraddha Chickerur, Phd candidate, University of Hyderabad
  103. Virginia Saldanha, Activist, Mumbai
  104. Parthasarathi Muthukkaruppan, Assistant Professor, The English And Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad
  105. Neha Naqvi, Lawyer, New Delhi, India
  106. Sherin B.S. Assistant Professor, The English and Foreign Languages University
  107. Bindhulakshmi P, Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
  108. Satish Poduval, Professor, English & Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad
  109. Disha Nawani, TISS, Mumbai
  110. Lalitha Kamath, School of Habitat Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
  111. Nandini Manjrekar, TISS Mumbai
  112. Shilpa Phadke, School of Media and Cultural Studies, TISS, Mumbai
  113. Faiz Ullah, School of Media and Cultural Studies, TISS, Mumbai
  114. Janet Sunita, New Delhi
  115. Prabha Nagaraja, New Delhi
  116. M. Madhava Prasad, EFL University, Hyderabad
  117. Urvashi Butalia, Zubaan Publishers Pvt Ltd.
  118. Sujata Patel, University of Hyderabad
  119. Geeta Seshu, independent Journalist, Mumbai
  120. Kamayani Bali Mahbal, Human Rights activist, Mumbai
  121. Madhu Bhushan, Independent activist, Bangalore
  122. Brinda Bose, Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  123. Rohini Hensman, independent scholar, Mumbai
  124. Renuka Mishra, Activist.
  125. Vasudha Mohanka, Doctoral Scholar, School of Humanities and Social Inquiry, University of Wollongong, Australia
  126. Uma Bhrugubanda, EFL University, Hyderabad
  127. Saheli Women’s Resource Centre, New Delhi
  128. Ilina Sen,Professor, TISS, Mumbai
  129. Radhika Desai, Independent Gender and Livelihoods Researcher, Hyderabad
  130. A.Suneetha, Anveshi RCWS, Hyderabad
  131. Chhaya Datar, Former Professor TISS, Mumbai
  132. Jhuma Sen, O.P. Jindal Global University
  133. Nisha Biswas, Scientist and activist, Kolkata
  134. Sadhna Arya, DU
  135. Suroor Mander, Advocate
  136. Niharika Banerjea, Associate Professor, School of Liberal Studies, Ambedkar University, Delhi
  137. Shiny Saha, Researcher, New Delhi
  138. Svati Joshi, Delhi University
  139. Richa Minocha, Jan Abhiyan Sanstha, Shimla
  140. Nandita Dhawan, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University
  141. Neha Gupta, Activist, Thailand
  142. Laxmi Murthy, Journalist, Bangalore
  143. Malika Virdi, Activist, Uttarakhand
  144. Forum Against Oppression of Women, Bombay
  145. Ankita Pandey, Indraprastha College for Women, Delhi University
  146. Sheetal Sharma, North East Network, Assam
  147. Urvija Priyadarshini, Doctoral Scholar, University of Hyderabad
  148. S. Maya, Sree Kerala Varma College
  149. Abha Bhaiya, feminist activist, Delhi
  150. LABIA – A Queer Feminist LBT Collective, Mumbai.
  151. Ritu Dewan, President, Indian Association for Women’s Studies
  152. Neha Reddy, Fulbright-Nehru Student Research Scholar
  153. Panchali Ray.  School of Women’s Studies.  Jadavpur University.
  154. Kochurani Abraham, Feminist Theologian, Kerala
  155. Vimala Ramachandran, Former Professor, NUEPA New Delhi
  156. Prof Anita Ghai, Ambedkar University
  157. Urfat Anjem Mir, Faculty, Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD)
  158. Biswajit K Bora, Dept of English, Shyama Prasad Mukherji College (for Women), Delhi
  159. Dr.Rajan Kurai Krishnan, Associate Professor, Ambedkar University Delhi
  160. Vebhuti Duggal, Research Associate, Sarai-CSDS
  161. Anjali Monteiro, Professor, TISS
  162. K.P. Jayasankar, Professor, TISS
  163. Renu Gupta, Professional, Vishakhapatnam
  164. Abhijit Roy, Professor, Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata
  165. Dr Sanjay Kumar, St Stephen’s College, Delhi University
  166. Mohinder Singh, SIS/ JNU, Delhi
  167. Manindra Thakur, CPS, JNU, Delhi
  168. Khalid Anis Ansari, Director ACESTA, Glocal University, Saharanpur
  169. Shail Mayaram, Professor, CSDS, Delhi
  170. Rina Ramdev, Associate Professor, University of Delhi
  171. Sudakshina Ghosh, Associate Professor, University of Calcutta
  172. Sutapa Mukhopadhyay, Assistant Professor, University of Calcutta
  173. Piyalee Dash Sharma, Assistant Professor, University of Calcutta
  174. Arpita Sengupta Sadhu, Assistant Professor, University of Calcutta
  175. Nilanjana Sen, Assistant Professor, University of Calcutta
  176. Akanksha , Co-founder of Sappho for Equality, Kolkata
  177. Srabasti Majumdar, Research Scholar, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University
  178. Ashish Srivastav, Filmmaker, Delhi
  179. Shipra Nigam, independent researcher, New Delhi
  180. Tanuja Kothiyal, Associate Professor in History, School of Liberal Studies, Ambedkar University
  181. Ashok Lal, Poet and Writer
  182. Shubhneet Kaushik, Research scholar, JNU
  183. Ish Mishra, Associate Professor, Hindu College, University of Delhi
  184. Sumita, queer feminist activist, Kolkata
  185. Imtiaz Ahmad, retd professor, JNU
  186. John Dayal, former journalist, Delhi
  187. Sukanta Chaudhuri, Professor Emeritus, Jadavpur University, Kolkata
  188. Siddhant Kalra, Writer, Delhi
  189. Valay Singh, Journalist, Delhi
  190. Aban Raza, an artist based in Delhi
  191. Gopalji Pradhan, Professor, School of Liberal Studies, AUD and Convenor Delhi Teachers’ Initiative
  192. Anil Rai, Economist and Urban Specialist, New Delhi
  193. Dr Saif Mahmood, Advocate, Supreme Court of India
  194. Sneha Banerjee, Researcher, Delhi
  195. Sudha Vasan, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Delhi, Delhi
  196. Shikha Sen, Documentary Editor
  197. Paramita Banerjee, Researcher, Trainer, Writer, Kolkata
  198. Surajit Sarkar, Ambedkar University Delhi
  199. Dipa Sinha, Assistant Professor, Ambedkar University, Delhi
  200. Sayandeb Chowdhury, Assistant Professor, School of Liberal Studies, Ambedkar University Delhi
  201. Prajval Shastri, Professor, Indian Institute of Astrophysics
  202. Anita Cherian, Associate Professor, SCCE, Ambedkar University Delhi
  203. Mamatha Karollil, Ambedkar University Delhi
  204. Dr Mukesh Garg, Founder Director ‘Sangeet Sankalp’, Music Critic & Musicologist,
  205. Anjali Raina , Paediatrician, Delhi
  206. Franson Manjali, Professor, JNU
  207. Rachana Johri, Dept of Psychology, AUD
  208. Ena Panda, Asst Professor, Dept. Of Germanic and Romance Studies
  209. Rajiv Gupta, Former Professor and head, Dept of Sociology, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur
  210. Ramachandra Guha, historian, Bangalore
  211. Arshad Ajmal, Activist, Patna, Bihar
  212. Ajaz Ashraf, Journalist, Delhi
  213. Anamika Priyadarshini, Assistant Professor, Council for Social Development,
  214. Ashok Jha, CSD, Delhi
  215. Ashutosh Kumar, DU
  216. Antora Borah, PhD Student, Department of Sociology, DU
  217. Alok Rai, formerly of the English Dept, D.U.
  218. Chayanika Uniyal, Assistant Professor, DU
  219. Biswajit K Bora, Dept of English, Shyama Prasad Mukherji College, Delhi
  220. Preeti Sampat, Assistant Professor, AUD
  221. Chaman Lal, JNU
  222. Om Thanvi, former editor, Jansatta
  223. Manoj Mitta, Journalist and Author
  224. Amit Sengupta, journalist
  225. Purwa Bharadwaj
  226. Vandana Rag, Writer, Delhi
  227. Shabnam Hashmi, ANHAD
  228. Kavita Krishnan, Secretary, AIPWA
  229. Komal Srivastava, Jaipur
  230. Neeraj Jain, Lokayat and Socialist Party (India)
  231. Mahtab Alam, activist and writer, Bangalore/Delhi
  232. Nasiruddin – Journalist- Lucknow
  233. Jyoti Punwani, journalist, Mumbai.
  234. Ravichandran, Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla
  235. Sanjay Palshikar, Professor, University of Hyderabad
  236. Annie Zaidi, Journalist, Mumbai
  237. Subir Sinha, Development Studies, SOAS
  238. Francesca Orsini, Professor of Hindi and South Asian Literature,SOAS
  239. Jigna Desai Professor, Univ. of Minnesota
  240. Rochelle Pinto, Academic, formerly with University of Delhi
  241. Kavita Panjabi, Professor, Jadavpur University, Kolkata
  242. Dilip Simeon, Independent scholar, Delhi
  243. Nithila Kanagasabai, School of Media and Cultural Studies, TISS, Mumbai
  244. Kashinath Chatterjee, BGVS
  245. Sirisha Naidu, Associate Professor, Wright State University, USA

  246. Rimple Mehta, Assistant Professor, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University
  247. Geetanjali Gangoli, Senior Lecturer, University of Bristol
  248. Nikhil Titus, PhD Student, University of Pittsburgh, USA
  249. Gautam Mody, New Trade Union Initiative
  250. Tejaswa, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
  251. Asha Mishra, BGVS
  252. Nandini Rao, activist, Delhi
  253. Farah Naqvi, Independent Writer and Activist, Delhi

2 thoughts on “Statement Against the Harassment of Dr Rajshree Ranawat”

  1. Dr. Rajashri Ranavat’s suspension to be revoked immediately or else legal proceedings to be taken up


  2. University authorities have been issuing ‘ suspension’ orders from their cozy rooms without even checking facts and brazenly opposing their own college colleagues and employees. They are just following orders from ‘ above’ – both government and abvp activists! This is dangerous for autonomy and freedom of university and it’s functioning smoothly


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