Defend the tradition of fighting for the oppressed: Sohail Hashmi writes to the Chief Minister of Kerala

(This is the text of the open letter written by the eminent left cultural activist Sohail Hashmi to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan on the Hadiya case)

Continue reading “Defend the tradition of fighting for the oppressed: Sohail Hashmi writes to the Chief Minister of Kerala”

Preserve Kerala as the Shining Example of Democracy for India : Prof. Satish Deshpande writes to the Chief Minister of Kerala

(This is the text of the open letter from Prof. Satish Deshpande to the Chief Minister of Kerala on the Hadiya issue. Satish’s work Contemporary India, translated as Samakalika India, has been hugely influential in shaping the progressive understanding of Hindutva nationalism and communal hatred in Kerala.)

<!–more–>

The Honourable Chief Minister of Kerala

Shri Pinarayi Vijayan

6th October, 2017

Respected Sir,

Ever since I first came to Kerala in 1981 to study at the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) at Thiruvanathapuram, I have been a committed supporter of everything that the left tradition of your great state has achieved by way of democratic innovations in governance and social practice. Even today, I believe that Kerala continues to be a shining example in many spheres where the rest of India lags far behind.

I was therefore shocked to read about the Hadiya case and the tacit and explicit state support that underwrite her virtual house arrest today. I am told that the man that Hadiya has chosen to marry and the organisation with which he is associated may have a questionable past. Whatever be the truth of this matter, the fact is that an adult citizen’s personal choices in matters like marriage cannot be undone by the state no matter how ill-considered that choice may appear to others. Moreover, in the current climate, it is surely not irrelevant that the religion in question is Islam – it is highly unlikely that this case would have attracted any attention if Hadiya had chosen to convert to some other religion.

It is highly embarrassing – to the say the least – that a government led by a party that can claim to have played a major role in transforming Kerala society for the better is today seen to be siding with the reactionary forces.

I appeal to you to use the power vested in you by the people of Kerala to end this travesty of justice and ensure that Hadiya is left free to live her life as she chooses.

With best wishes,

Satish Deshpande

(Professor of Sociology, Delhi University)

Let us rise to the defense of the Indian Constitution: Letter to the Kerala Chief Minister from Prof. Amit Bhaduri

[This is the text of the open letter written by eminent economist and leading development activist Prof. Amit Bhaduri, to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan] Continue reading “Let us rise to the defense of the Indian Constitution: Letter to the Kerala Chief Minister from Prof. Amit Bhaduri”

Help us resist the Hindutva thought-machine: K Satchidanandan writes to the Chief Minister of Kerala

[This is the text of the open letter written by the eminent poet and public intellectual K Satchidanandan to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan] Continue reading “Help us resist the Hindutva thought-machine: K Satchidanandan writes to the Chief Minister of Kerala”

Restore Hadiya’s Dignity as an Adult: Prof. Samita Sen to the Chief Minister of Kerala

(This is the text of the open letter from leading women’s studies scholar and renowned feminist intellectual, Prof. Samita Sen, to the Chief Minister of Kerala on the Hadiya case) Continue reading “Restore Hadiya’s Dignity as an Adult: Prof. Samita Sen to the Chief Minister of Kerala”

Check Hindutva Patriarchy: Prof. Akeel Bilgrami writes to the Chief Minister of Kerala

 (This is the text of the open letter written by the eminent philosopher Prof. Bilgrami, who was honoured by the Government of Kerala a few years back, to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan, on the Hadiya case)
Dear Mr. Vijayan,

You may not remember me from a couple of years ago when you and Prof. Pannikar were kind enough to award me the Social Science Research Prize and attend my lecture on that occasion in Trivandrum. I write out of the blue now —an impertinent liberty— to urge you to intervene in the case of Hadiya where an important constitutional right to choose one’s religion is being violated since, as is well-known, there was absolutely no force exercised upon her in her conversion.   Both Hindutva mischief and patriarchal attitudes are at play in her plight and they need to be strongly resisted.  Moreover it seems to me that the NIA’s being allowed to play a role in this matter is a deplorable interference in the the state of Kerala’s autonomy in the federal system of governance to which our country is committed, and should also be resisted.
  Won’t you please lead the way on this  —your voice, speaking out on all these issues and your support of Hadiya from your position of authority as Chief Minister, will make all the difference.
With my very best wishes,
Akeel Bilgrami
Akeel Bilgrami
Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy,
Professor, Committee on Global Thought,
Columbia University,
Tel: 212 316 3458
Fax 212 854 4986