Tag Archives: #StandwithKanhaiya

Statement of Solidarity with Students in JNU, India – by students in KU Leuven, Belgium

We, the undersigned, students in the social sciences and humanities programs at KU Leuven, strongly condemn the Indian state’s heavy handed and politically motivated action against the students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi.

We condemn the brutal police action against students, especially the arrest of JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president, Kanhaiya Kumar on 12 February 2016 – who has been charged under colonial-era sedition laws. We equally condemn the witch-hunt against and media trials against JNU, its faculty, and its students – especially Umar Khalid, an atheist-Leftist activist, who is wrongfully being called an ‘Islamist’ by some in the media.

Over the last few months, Indian universities have become a crucial site to contest and resist the arbitrary and concerted efforts of the Indian state to quash academic autonomy and dissent – from the scrapping of non-NET fellowships in 2015, to the death of Dalit PhD scholar Rohith Vemula at the Hyderabad Central University, earlier in January.

We underscore the fact that universities have historically been sites of critical thinking and politics, and need to remain the same. Furthermore, as the recent cases in India have shown, it is often students from under-privileged backgrounds who raise critical questions against the workings of the state, and also question structures of privilege within universities, in peaceful and non-violent ways.

The government and police action against the students at JNU seriously undermines and threatens these values. These (re)actions are based on questionable facts and charges of anti-nationalism and sedition. Indeed, no is within the space of the university that ideas of the ‘nation’ – who is included within it, and who is excluded – can be questioned and debated.

Continue reading Statement of Solidarity with Students in JNU, India – by students in KU Leuven, Belgium

Purdue University Stands in Solidarity with JNU

We, the undersigned faculty and students at Purdue University, strongly condemn the arrest of JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar. We oppose the systematic and deliberate attempts to humiliate, bully and terrorize the university’s community of scholars and political activists. It is unethical for a government to spread canards about students with the hope of distracting attention away from its over-zealous, slapdash interventions in academic institutions. We demand that this scapegoating and hounding of Umar Khalid, and all other students, cease immediately.

We salute the courageous JNU community that stands proud and resolute in the face of physical violence, media trials, and sectarian, antediluvian discourses that confuse students for enemies, and dissent – the cornerstone of democracy – for sedition.

More generally, we detect a pattern in this government’s deployment of the state machinery against young adults committed to addressing the inequities and discriminations so blatant in our country today. We insist, therefore, that the central government end its programmatic assault on public educational institutions and the spirit of free-thought. Institutions of higher education must be created and preserved as spaces where caste oppression, gender and minority-exclusion can be studied, and their resistance practiced. JNU exemplifies a dual commitment to combining academic rigor with a political-ethical conscience. We stand in solidarity with JNU’s vision of a diverse campus, charged with a robust polity, where no monolithic, auto-corrected version of the nation or patriotism dominates. We believe that university campuses, like society at large, can thrive only when celebrations of the myriad manifestations of the nation are accompanied by an honest and fearless capacity to criticize its inadequacies. Continue reading Purdue University Stands in Solidarity with JNU

Resolution in support of the student protests in India against the militant suppression of intellectual freedom and dissent by the BJP-government

This is a resolution passed by the Doctoral Students’ Council, City University of New York (CUNY)

WHEREAS, on 12 February, the Delhi Police raided student hostels at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and arrested the JNU Students’ Union President Kanhaiyya Kumar on the arbitrary and anti-democratic charge of sedition; and

WHEREAS, this application of a draconian, colonial law which criminalizes dissent stands in stark contradiction to the very democratic character of the nation that affirms an individual’s right to free speech, however radical and unpopular the opinion; and

WHEREAS, this arrest of an elected student representative and the subsequent militarization of the campus with an overwhelming police presence is sanctioned and sponsored by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led ruling regime, in conjunction with its affiliate organizations RSS and ABVP, its student wing; and

WHEREAS, this coercive presence of the police on the university premises and elsewhere is compounded by their complicity in the physical assaults by lawyers of the Hindu Right on JNU teachers and students at the courthouse before Kanhaiyya’s hearing; and

Continue reading Resolution in support of the student protests in India against the militant suppression of intellectual freedom and dissent by the BJP-government

University of Minnesota Stands in Solidarity with Jawaharlal Nehru University

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We, the undersigned at the University of Minnesota, strongly condemn the concerted attack on the students, faculty and academic culture of Jawaharlal Nehru University. At the behest of the government, the Delhi police has pressed sedition charges on unnamed students of the university. Reminiscent of the Emergency, the students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar has been arrested, several students have been suspended and the Delhi police has been hounding students in hostels, homes as well as public spaces in the city. Sections of the mainstream media have launched a vicious campaign to declare JNU an “anti-national” university, and some journalists have gone so far as to spin lies about the “terrorist connections” of student activist Umar Khalid. As a consequence, mob violence against JNU students and faculty has spread across the city and even entered the courtrooms where the case against the JNU students’ union president was being heard. We strongly condemn this hate campaign and demand the immediate release of the JNU students’ union president. We also demand that the suspension of students is revoked and unsubstantiated sedition charges are withdrawn immediately.

Continue reading University of Minnesota Stands in Solidarity with Jawaharlal Nehru University

Solidarity Statement for JNU by IIT Scholars

This is a statement issued by the undersigned, scholars of Departments of Humanities and Social Sciences of IITs across the country.

We, the undersigned, scholars of Departments of Humanities and Social Sciences of IITs across the country, condemn the police action in JNU and the arrest of the JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar on the charge of sedition. We also denounce the repeated acts of violence unleashed by some lawyers and others at the Patiala House Court against faculty, students and the media, as well as police inaction regarding the same.

In addition, we appeal for media and public trials to cease and for civil society to instead focus on debating issues in an amicable and reasonable manner, without slandering JNU or questioning the academic integrity or patriotic fervour of JNU and its supporters. We criticise the general atmosphere of fear and intimidation that is being created to target the entire university. Given the fast polarizing political atmosphere in the country, we appeal to the media organisations to display greater responsibility and conduct television debates in such a manner that no prejudicial public opinion is created while there is an ongoing enquiry into the entire episode by the authorities concerned. Resorting to jingoism and sensationalism may cause avoidable hazards. Continue reading Solidarity Statement for JNU by IIT Scholars

Delhi Stands With JNU Students and Against the Evil Modi Regime

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are...”-

Bertholt Brecht

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This afternoon saw an amazing, uplifting show of peaceful, joyful strength by students, young people, teachers, friends in Delhi, in support of JNU, in memory of Rohith Vemula, in solidarity with Kanhaiya, Umar and all the students in JNU who are being so stellar in their principled opposition to this evil, venal Modi regime. Reports of massive protests are coming in from Kolkata, Russia to and elsewhere. Something is changing in the air.
It was a perfect spring afternoon, overcast like our times, but breezy like our morale. There must have been at least 15,000 people on the march today. We met old and long lost friends and made new ones.

The gathering was totally peaceful. Young  women and men, student profits from JNU in the eighties, grey haired, felt young again as their student held aloft flowers, flags, signs and homemade banners. Everyone looked their best, as if they had come to a massive street party.

It was so infectious, the mood this afternoon, such a contrast to the vile bad temper of the men who attacked Kanhaiya and his supporters two days in a row at the Patiala House Courts two days in a row that the difference between two entirely different visions of politics was palpable on your skin. The contrast sent a clear message to all our senses.

The RSS-ABVP-BJP brand of politics is diseased. It’s on its last legs and that is why it is so desperate. It cannot perform, it has no ideas, it is morally and culturally bankrupt.

Universities are in crisis and all that the bad TV actress who makes a joke of her ministry (HRS) every day can think of today while thousands March against her and her boss is about sticking giant flagpoles into the ground and stitching gigantic silk shrouds for her  government and her party.

Modi, Rajnath and Manusmriti Irani should quake in fear. Their time is up.

Very proud of JNU students and the people of Delhi today.

#StandwithJNU #StandwithKanhaiya

#StandwithUmar

#Standwithallstudents

#NowitchHuntofStudents