Tag Archives: jnusu

Manipur Solidarity Statement for JNU

Guest Post by a group of Concerned Individuals from Manipur

We, the undersigned, are appalled by the conduct of the present regime against Jawaharlal Nehru University where students are being hunted down for debating on an issue which is also close to the heart of Manipur.

There is critical need for deepening dialogue on the very idea of India so that many nations and nationalities have space for their expressions rather than stifling them within a very narrow definition of India. There are very few institutions in India where such a debate can take place, and a healthy debate will allow India to be critical of itself ensuring a more vibrant multicultural and multi-national India.

We strongly believe that universities must be non-militarized spaces where students and teachers are able to freely engage on topics such as the one that took place in JNU. They must not be suppressed ideologically and militarily in the name of national security. Back here, there is military occupation in the heart of Manipur University. Yes, in the name of security. And it is time the military completely withdraws away from the sites of learning and knowledge.

Continue reading Manipur Solidarity Statement for JNU

From Concerned Citizens of Gujarat to the President of India on JNU Incidents

Guest Post by Concerned Citizens of Gujarat

MEMORANDUM  To  Shri Pranab Mukherji, The President of India,New Delhi, India

 Sir,

We the citizens of Gujarat would like to share our deep concern about the series of happenings from 9th of February to 18th of February.

While dissociating ourselves from anti India pro Pakistan slogans in JNU campus, we are horrified to watch the unprecedented authoritarian arm twisting punitive measures like witch hunt in the campus and slapping Sedition Charge on President of JNU Students Union, Mr. Kanhaiya Kumar by the BJP led NDA Govt at Centre as per the direction of Home Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh and Human resources Minister Smt. Smriti Irani.

The police interference in JNU Campus, slapping the Sedition Charge on the President of JNU students Union Mr. Kanhaiya is condemnable.

The chain of incidents of hooliganism, like repeated attack on Kanhaiya Kumar in Patiala house court, attack on teachers and students, journalists, hooting the Supreme Court appointed five members panel as anti-National by the forces in the presence of police appeared to be backed by the ruling party BJP and its’ outfits expose the absence of safety of the citizens even in the court premises. This open terrorizing tactics has been prompted by the Govt. in power, police and hoodlums to send a loud message to scuttle the freedom of expression endanger democracy and democratic institutions in our country.

Defying the Supreme Court’s order tantamounting to contempt, the repeated attacks on Kanhaiya Kumar and journalists is nothing but the fascist onslaught to muzzle the voices of dissent.   Casting anyone anti- BJP and anti-Govt as anti- national and any one pro BJP as patriots is to say the least, quite ridiculous.

The attackers like BJP MLA O.P Sharma, numbers of so- called black coat worn advocates like Mr.Vikram Chauhan are moving freely and side by side the lies are fabricated to mislead the people in the name of Nationalism and patriotism.

There are worldwide condemnation including in our country against of arrests, sedition charge, attacks on journalists, academician but all these have no effect on the attitude of the Govt. and the authority.

We the citizens endorse the voices raised by concerned citizens across the country and world.

Under this circumstances we would like to reiterate that Universities are the space for open debates and polemics and we request your intervention to save the democracy, autonomy of the universities, safeguard the freedom of expression and provide security to all citizens.

 We demand

  • Release of Kanhaiya Kumar
  • Repeal of sedition charge
  • Stop police interference in universities
  • The security of all citizens, media persons be ensured
  • Arrest the BJP MLA and  lawyers like Vikram Chauhan and other identified persons responsible for attacks
  • Institute impartial inquiry into the whole affair.

Continue reading From Concerned Citizens of Gujarat to the President of India on JNU Incidents

The Right to Reason and Imagine: Architects in Solidarity with the JNU Community

Guest Post by Architects from all over India and elsewhere

To: The JNU Teachers Association, JNU Students Union

CC: Vice Chancellor, JNU

We, the undersigned, are writing this in utmost shock and despair regarding the recent events and developments at your campus. We want to extend our full support to the JNU teachers association and the democratically elected JNU Student Union. We believe there is a difference between the nation, the state and the government of the day, and fully support your constitutional right to air your positions, as different or diverse as they may be, without illegal interference from any particular ruling ideology, party or state machinery.

As those engaged in architecture, we believe that imagination and reason are the highest of human faculties. This gift is what we constantly cultivate and rely on – in academia and in practice – when we question what exists, however natural, fixed and irreplaceable it may seem, and fearlessly posit alternatives. Indeed, there is little difference for us between possessing a moral imagination and being able to imagine such alternate worlds and other ways of being.

The inability therefore to envision life in another’s shoes, to disagree and to counter ideas with more aesthetic or eloquent ones without resorting to character assassination, violence and charges of anti-nationalism, betray to us an alarming lack of imagination, and we strongly condemn this in all its forms.

We condemn this absence of imagination and the physical and epistemic violence it has unleashed on the university community especially teachers and students. We stand with you in support of the university as a marketplace of ideas where all ideas and opinions are passionately argued, ripped apart, defended and critically re-imagined in ever new ways, leading to a more enlightened citizenry. This must be allowed to happen without fear or favor, risk of persecution or charges of sedition. If nothing else, the imagination of our founding fathers demands it, and we are in solidarity with your right to exercise it.

(This statement represents us in our individual capacities and not the institutions we are associated with.)

(In alphabetical order)

Continue reading The Right to Reason and Imagine: Architects in Solidarity with the JNU Community

Wanted Students Surface in JNU: JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid Shora and Umar Khalid Speaking to Students

[ In a dramatic new development, four students, Umar Khalid (ex-DSU), Anirban (ex-DSU), Rama Naga and Asutosh (AISA),  from amongst the list of  ‘students wanted by the police’ resurfaced on the night of Sunday, 21 February, and stayed with their fellow students till the early hours of Monday, February 22 on the JNU campus. Reportedly, they are still on campus, with their fellow students. One of them, Umar Khalid, spoke at a large gathering in front of the administration block, where all protesting students have been meeting. The gathering was also addressed by the Jawahar Lal Nehru Students’ Union (JNUSU) vice-president and All India Students Association (AISA) activist, Shehla Rashid Shora (against whom there are no charges made out by the police at the moment). The police, did not enter the campus at that time, given the very large number of students who had gathered in solidarity with their ‘wanted’ friends. The statements of the JNUSU vice president, Shehla Rashid Shora, and of Umar Khalid (who is one of students ‘wanted’ by the police), were recorded by a correspondent of the online portal, Catchnews.com during the early hours of Monday, 22nd February, as they addressed the gathered students. We are sharing those recordings, with thanks to Catchnews.com, with our transcript/translation of what was said by both Shehla and Umar. As is clear from both statements, the students are not in hiding, they are offering peaceful resistance, and the charges of sedition against them are utterly without foundation. Listen, and read, for yourselves.]

Continue reading Wanted Students Surface in JNU: JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid Shora and Umar Khalid Speaking to Students

Oxford University Members and Alumni in Solidarity with JNU: Oxford Students, Faculty and Alumni

Guest Post by students, faculty and alumni of Oxford University, UK

We, the undersigned members and alumni of the University of Oxford, stand firmly in solidarity with fellow students, teachers and scholars at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). We condemn the ongoing persecution of the student community in JNU, in particular the arrest of JNU Students Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar under sedition charges. We protest the use of institutional and state machinery to stifle dissent on campuses, and the attempt to persecute those whose views do not conform to the narrow narratives of ‘nationalism’, ‘nationhood’ and ‘Indian culture’ promoted and endorsed by the ruling party. We view the crackdown in JNU in a continuum with the use of state machinery to clamp down on dissenting views and ideologies on campuses, most prominently at the FTII, Jadavpur University, IIT-Madras and the University of Hyderabad (UoH). We would like to point out that it was a similar witchhunt, backed by state authority, that led to the suicide of Dalit scholar and student leader of the Ambedkar Students’ Association, Rohith Vemula. We also stand in solidarity with the ongoing rally hunger strike at UoH and the struggles of the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, demanding justice for Rohith Vemula.

Continue reading Oxford University Members and Alumni in Solidarity with JNU: Oxford Students, Faculty and Alumni

Solidarity with JNU and Conversations on Kashmir: JKCCS

Guest Post by Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society

Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) expresses its solidarity with the striking students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. We have watched with a sense of horror and dismay, the violent criminalizing of student democracy and dissent, not just at Jawaharlal Nehru University but across Indian campuses in the recent past. Having long and intimate knowledge of violent repression and legalized impunity that Indian state is capable of, especially against those it considers ‘anti-national’ we are not surprised by these events, but have a special empathy with all who suffer its horrors. We demand the release of all student dissenters and political prisoners in the custody of the Indian state, and an end to acts of policing and surveillance on campuses, and targeting of students on the basis of political beliefs and speech.

The Kashmiri students in different colleges and universities in India, who have always faced discrimination and intimidation time to time, are now feeling the extreme regressive and oppressive means used by right wing groups and the government. After being hounded, Kashmiri students have begun leaving Delhi. There are several places where the landlords, in whose properties Kashmiri students were renting flats, have asked the students to vacate. These experiences of Kashmiri students are part of the larger reality faced by Kashmiri youth in Jammu and Kashmir and in India. The voices of dissent in Jammu and Kashmir have been dealt with administrative detentions under Public Safety Act, illegal detentions, torture, surveillance and killings by armed forces including the most recent one of Asif and Shaista at Pulwama on 14th of February.

We also view with alarm, the reports about the cynical use of Kashmiri students studying in Delhi as hostages in the politically illegitimate process of government formation in Srinagar.

We are dismayed that the public narrative about the recent events has often descended into disputes over Indian ‘patriotism’ and the shrill condemnation of a few ‘fringe’ ‘radical’ ‘traitors’ for ‘irresponsible’ slogans. These sentiments are neither mere slogans nor represent the ‘fringe’ in Kashmir, the very place they were made in reference to. As Kashmiris, we believe that the right to self-determination is inseparable from the right to political association, dissent and free expression, and these rights cannot be selectively asserted or upheld. In the competitive public proclamations of nationalistic credentials, what has been lost is that courageous act of defiant solidarity with the Kashmiri people’s struggle for justice and self-determination, that lies at the heart of these debates. Despite the disavowals and the state repression, the solidarity with the political rights of the Kashmiris is growing and spreading, as events in Jadavpur University demonstrate. We acknowledge the emerging spaces in Indian civil society to converse on the question of Kashmir, beyond nationalist framings. We hold out hope for future alliances with students, groups and individuals willing to engage in honest conversations, in which they alone do not determine the boundaries of what can or cannot be said, thought or felt.

Spokesperson
JKCCS

Letter of Solidarity to the Students of JNU, India: Democratic Students’ Alliance, Pakistan

Guest Post by Democratic Students’ Alliance, Pakistan

12513500_757322154411597_1043243550084509878_o

17th February, 2016

Dear Student friends of JNU, Delhi

 

The issue of academic freedom is one that is tied to the essence of education itself: to think, to question, to speak and probe, to understand, to challenge and to learn.

The strangulation of political and academic freedoms is a dark hallmark of despotic and authoritarian societies and governments which aim to silence and subjugate. State intrusion in intellectual spaces is an assault on democratic rights and liberties; academic freedom must not be subordinated to state agendas. We believe that political freedoms are central to a democratic state and that their suspension leads to nothing but danger.

Continue reading Letter of Solidarity to the Students of JNU, India: Democratic Students’ Alliance, Pakistan