As members of the academic community in India, we the undersigned, stand in solidarity with students across the country protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens of India (NRC). Fundamentally discriminatory and unjust, CAA-NRC contradict the founding principles of the Indian Constitution and undermine international human rights conventions such as the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Act institutionalizes discrimination based on religion, besides threatening the interests of indigenous people of the North-Eastern states.
- From UMASS and Five Colleges
We, the undersigned members and alumni of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the Five College Area write in solidarity and support of the protests in India and elsewhere against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, and express our complete rejection of this act.
We are deeply concerned about the violence against students in India’s universities, particularly at Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi and at Aligarh Muslim University. The crackdown on universities has produced shocking images of violence, including tear-gassing hostel rooms and libraries, brutal and illegal violence in police detention, communally charged comments against students, and assault on female protestors. We condemn both the illegal crackdown on dissent, and the particularly communal and gendered nature of this crackdown, unequivocally support and admire the protesters who continue to take to the streets.
We are also extremely dismayed by the ongoing repression in the states of North-East India and Kashmir, and call on the Indian state to cease its internet shut-down. While this internet shut down has made communications and precise reports of the situation on the ground difficult, the news that has filtered through, regarding repression of protests in Tripura, Manipur, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh is extremely troubling. In this light, we also express our serious concern over the recent detainment and torture of Assam activist Akhil Gogoi, a sustained and vocal critic of the Citizenship Amendment Bill/Act, under the UAPA and NIA acts.
2. From students, faculty and alumni of Syracuse University, Hamilton College, Colgate University, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry and Ithaca College, and the broader Central New York community.
As members of the Central New York community concerned about the brutal police violence against students at Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, two public universities with a predominantly Muslim minority student body, we join millions of students in at least 15 cities across India to express our solidarity with students protesting the Bharatiya Janata party’s
anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019.
#SOSJamiaAMU and #RejectCAA represent the grassroots student movement protesting the CAA, recently passed by the upper and lower houses of the Indian parliament. The CAA grants
Indian citizenship to non-Muslim persecuted minorities seeking refuge in India from selected neighboring countries. This combined with the National Register of Citizens of India (NRC),
which is aimed at the disenfranchisement and detention of undocumented immigrants, equips the Hindu nationalist government to institutionalize ethnic cleansing of Muslim minorities. This systematic targeted violence is carried alongside increasing instances of lynchings of Muslims and caste-oppressed people. Further, the seemingly spontaneous resistance to the CAA out of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia must be understood with respect to the history of these two universities as post-Partition Muslim-serving institutions.
Law teachers and researchers from across the world have strongly condemned the recent police brutality against students of different universities struggling the recent changes in Citizenship law. They have also criticized the CAA and the NRC ideas as majoritarian and one that subverts our Consttitutional vision. Their statement:
We, the undersigned teachers and researchers of law, strongly condemn the police brutality on the peaceful protest by the students at Jamia Milia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University and other universities.
On 15 December 2019 police entered the Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, and assaulted and detained the students. Students were dragged out of campus, and were paraded outside with hands raised. We believe that the action of the police is an attempt to suppress dissent and is an attack on the autonomy of the universities. The police action violates, inter alia, the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution of India and international law instruments to which India is a state party. We emphasize that academic institutions are an arena of discussion, debate and dissent, and the peremptory and ultimate objective of universities is to speak truth to power. By using force against the students, the government has struck at the heart of the culture of protests.
Concerned health activists and health professionals and women’s rights activists have issued the following statement against the brutal use of force by the police against students, especially in Jamia Millia Islamia and AMU.
We, the health networks, health activists, health professionals, Women’s Rights Activists and concerned activists strongly condemn this abhorrent act by the police force on the students of Jamia Milia Islamia University, Delhi and Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh on 15th – 16th December 2019.
Following the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), violence was unleashed and Jamia and AMU were particularly targeted. According to the reports from JamiaMiliaIslamia on Sunday, the police force entered the premises, targeted individuals indiscriminately, used tear-gas shells and lathi charge against the students, along with the forceful entry in their university premises. Continue reading Health Workers, Health Professionals, Women’s Rights Activists Condemn Use of Force by Police against Students of JMI, AMU
Following is a statement by the faculty, researchers and students of the University of Southern Florida, USA, in support of the struggle of students across universities against CAA and NRC.
We, the undersigned, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, students, and alumni of University of South Florida (USF), in strongest possible terms,condemn the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and assault and police crackdown on anti-CAA protests across India. We staged a protest on USF’s Tampa campus on December 19, the day widespread protests were organized across India on this issue. Even though our protest is India-specific, this is about protecting democracy and minority rights.
The Indian government recently passed the CAA, which we believe, allows for the first time in secular India, a citizenship provision based on religion. When combined with National Register of Citizens (NRC), and National Population Register (NPR), the CAA can strip Indian Muslims of their rights and citizenship.The NRC and NPR also threaten transgender communities, dalits, the homeless, indigenous communities, and others who will not be able to provide necessary documents.We believe that the Indian government’s actions are unconstitutional and fundamentally violate the principles of equality and non-discrimination in a democracy. Continue reading Support for Anti CAA/NRC Struggle from University of South Florida
Statements of support for the students’ struggle against the CAA and NRC continue to pour in. We will try and keep publishing as many as we can. In this post is a statement from the University of British Columbia, Canada.
We, the students, faculty, alumni and scholars of the University of British Columbia, and the South Asian community in Vancouver, strongly condemn the police violence unleashed on students protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens of India, across universities in India. Specifically, we condemn the police brutality on Muslim students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University where the excessive violence of police machinery is reflective of the Islamophobia of the present government. We strongly oppose the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act which inherently discriminates citizenship for Muslims on religious grounds. The Act provides citizenship to six religious minority communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan while it explicitly leaves out Muslims. Citizenship Amendment Act (passed on December 11, 2019) along with National Register of Citizens of India and National Population Register will bring about systematic displacement and dispossession of two hundred million Muslims in India as their citizenship will be put to test and they can be easily rendered stateless. Continue reading Support for Struggling Students from University of British Columbia
The following is a statement issued by faculty members of South Asian University on the recent police excesses against peacefully protesting students and other citizens.
We, the undersigned teachers of the South Asian University, New Delhi are deeply disturbed by the developments at the Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University in the last few days.
As it is well documented now through the media reports and eye witness accounts of students, on 15 December 2019 police entered the Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University and assaulted and detained the students who were peacefully protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). Continue reading South Asian University Statement in Solidarity with Students and Citizens Protesting CAA and NRC
Support for the students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University is continuously pouring in from different of the world as people watch the horrors perpetrated by the Indian police on unarmed, peacefully protesting students. The following is yet another of an international statements of support.
We, the undersigned, condemn the recent spate of state violence unleashed against students of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) by the ruling BJP government. We are students studying in various universities and educational institutions outside of India, and are extremely appalled to see the brazen attack on the democratic rights of students across universities in India. Students of JMI and AMU have been protesting against the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA), which enforces a highly selective citizenship criteria based on faith that excludes Muslims and effectively reduces the status of millions of Muslims in India to ‘illegal migrants’. The police have shown zero restraint in their attempt to suppress the agitations and it is clear that the students are violently targeted because of their Muslim identity. Continue reading Another International Statement Condemning State Violence Against Students of JMI and AMU
Following is a statement issued by current and former faculty members and students of the University of Warwick in solidarity with the ongoing struggle of the students against the new citizenship law.
As students, alumni and faculty members of the University of Warwick, we stand in solidarity with all students in India who are engaged in protests against the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. We believe that the right to dissent, protest and demonstrate are fundamental rights integral to all democracies. Articles 19 (1) (a) and 19 (1) (b) of the Indian Constitution explicitly state that the right to protest is a fundamental right. Such a right is safeguarded in international human rights conventions as well.
The peaceful and non-violent demonstrations by students have been met with extraordinary police violence, particularly in Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, with recent reports from established media sources indicating that police and paramilitary forces entered university campuses and hostels by force and brutally attacked students. As a consequence, hundreds of students have been injured, some very seriously. Such police action contravenes both the Constitution of India as well as international human rights laws. We call for an immediate end to state-led violence and for proper action to be taken against the perpetrators of it. Continue reading University of Warwick In Solidarity With Students Protesting the CAA in India
The following is a statement from the alumni of NLU Jodhpur, in solidarity with the students at the receving end of police brutalities in Delhi, Aligarh, Assam and other universities.
We, the undersigned alumni of National Law University, Jodhpur unequivocally condemn the police excesses in response to student protests at Jamia Milia Islamia University, Delhi University, Aligarh Muslim University, Dibrugarh University, Gauhati University, Cotton University, Assam and other universities across India. As persons with training in constitutional laws and values, we recognize the significance of dissenting speech and assembly, and the need to preserve academic spaces as free from State coercion and militarization and to uphold the values of secularism.
To sign this statement, click here
The unforeseen death of Dr Srinivas Ramachandra Siras (Reader and Chair of Modern Indian Languages at Aligarh Muslim University) and the circumstances surrounding it have thrown us into a web of shock, despair and great concern. As an academic community, there are a number of questions that we need to ask and address.
The role of the Aligarh Muslim University authorities in this incident has been nothing short of condemnable. The invasion of Dr Siras’ privacy, the subsequent authoritarian impulse to suspend him and the complete lack of sensitivity by the administration has been outrageous. It has created anxiety about our vulnerability to the exercise of arbitrary powers. The use of such surveillance is not simply a threat to our freedom to make life choices (and sexual choices); it also leads to “self-discipline” due to fear of transgressing majoritarian norms. Continue reading An Open Letter to the Democratic and Progressive Groups and Individuals in Aligarh Muslim University and Other Universities in India to Demand Justice for Dr.Siras
From the Hindustan Times this morning.
Saleem Kidwai, Nivedita Menon, Mary John, V. Geetha, Shilpa Phadke and 13 other teachers and academics from universities across India.
We, as teachers and academics from universities across India, read with outrage and dismay that Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, reader and chairman of Modern Indian Languages at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was suspended for having consensual sex with someone of the same sex within the privacy of his home.
What made the press report that came out on Thursday in certain sections of the media particularly shocking was that there were either cameras placed by students within Dr Siras’ house or television reporters got into the house and made a video film of the alleged incident that was then passed on to the university authorities. The university authorities instead of going by the constitutionally recognised right to privacy within the four corners of one’s house have instead chosen to act against Dr Siras. Continue reading Whose Morality is This?