• Statement of Solidarity with JNU: from the Community of New York University, New York

    February 25, 2016

    We, the signatories to this statement, stand in solidarity with the student and faculty protests at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Student liberties, as well as the right to free speech protected in the Indian Constitution, were irreparably damaged by the State-sanctioned police action on the JNU campus, and the unjustified arrest of the student union President, Kanhaiya Kumar on the grounds of sedition. This is a grave charge reserved only for the active incitement of organised violence against the State, and one that was entirely inappropriate in the present circumstances.

    We condemn the rhetoric of hate that has labelled protesting students as “anti-national”, “parasites on public money” and “terrorists”. We believe that the State has been unwilling to accept dissent through dialogue and open discussion on issues that it has been unsuccessful and irresolute in handling with justice and dignity. We see the attack on JNU to be an integral part of the larger processes — both implicitly and now explicitly facilitated by the government — of threatening and attacking university campuses across the country, and attempting to establish an intolerant, casteist, and fundamentalist regime which brooks no debate nor dissent. The institutional harassment and death of the Dalit PhD Scholar, Rohith Vemula at the University of Hyderabad, the violent attacks on the students of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, the Maharaja Sayaji Rao University, Baroda and Jadavpur University, Kolkata (to name a few) have all been indicative of the rising intolerance for any kind of dissent against the Right-wing, Hindu fundamentalist government.

    We are deeply disturbed at the opportunistic subversion of the judicial process following the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, by the physical attacks on students and journalists conducted by lawyers, and by the public discourse surrounding the incident especially in certain television news channels and social media. The mass bloodlust present in the communal rhetoric against student leaders like Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid is shameful and erodes any semblance of progress that any civilised society should aim for. It is alarming how any efforts at changing how things work that do not emerge from within the government or its allies, is treated with suspicion and rendered illegitimate. As students, teachers and civil society members committed to ideas of social justice, we condemn the use of archaic laws that threaten the democratic space that universities must offer.

    Recognising what is happening in India is not arising out of a socio-political vacuum, but is finding resonances all over the world, we oppose the growing intolerance for student liberties and stand against the systematic State-orchestrated persecution of free thinking students and their allies.

    We, the students, faculty and members of the larger NYU community, stand by fellow students and colleagues at JNU in this immediate struggle and promise solidarity in the larger struggle against injustice and intolerance, and in upholding the ideals of a true democracy.

    1. Aisha Khan, Faculty, Dept of Anthropology, New York University
    2. Alberto Bisin, Professor, Department of Economics, New York University
    3. Alex Boodrookas, Ph.D. Student, Middle Eastern Studies & History, Graduate School of Arts and Science, New York University
    4. Ali Mirsepassi, Professor, Gallatin/Middle East and Islamic Studies, New York University
    5. Alia Ayman, PhD Student, Dept of Anthropology, New York University
    6. Allen Feldman, Professor, Department of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University
    7. Amith Gupta, NYU Law
    8. Ana Dopico, Director KJCC, Dept Comp Lit, Dept Spanish and Portuguese, New York University
    9. Anamika Jain, Undergrad Student, Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University
    10. Anamika Singh, Student, Cooper Union
    11. Andrea Gadberry, Faculty, Gallatin and the Dept. of Comparative Literature, New York University
    12. Andrew Ross, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University
    13. Angela Zito,Associate Professor, Anthropology & Program in Religious Studies, New York University
    14. Anisha Chadha, PhD student, Department of Anthropology, New York University
    15. Anjana Sreedhar, International Relations Department, College of Arts and Science, New York University
    16. Anjika Prashar, NYU Stern School of Business, New York University
    17. Ann Pellegrini, Professor, Performance Studies and Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University
    18. Anne Rademacher, Associate, Professor, Anthropology and Environmental Studies, New York University
    19. Astha Sharma Pokharel, JD Candidate, NYU School of Law
    20. Avital Ronell, University Professor of the Humanities, New York University
    21. Bambi Schieffelin, Professor, Dept of Anthropology, New York University
    22. Bedatri Datta Choudhury, Graduate Student, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
    23. Bruce Grant, Professor, Dept of Anthropology, New York University
    24. Chandni Goel, NYU Law
    25. Charles Wilson, Professor, Dept of Economics, New York University
    26. Christopher Flinn, Professor of Economics, New York University
    27. Cristina Beltran, Associate Professor, Department of Social & Cultural Analysis, New York University
    28. Crystal Parikh, Associate Professor, English/SCA, New York University
    29. David Pearce, Professor, Dept of Economics, New York University
    30. Dean Saranillio, Associate Professor, Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University
    31. Debraj Ray, Julius Silver Professor, Faculty of Arts and Science, and Professor of Economics, New York University
    32. Diana Taylor, Professor, Performace Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
    33. Dylan Soltis, Graduate Student, Cinema Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
    34. Eliot Borenstein, Professor, Russian & Slavic Studies, New York University
    35. Emanuela Bianchi, Department of Comparative Literature, New York University
    36. Emily Martin, Professor, Anthropology, New York University
    37. Faye Ginsburg, Professor, Anthropology, New York University
    38. Fred Myers, Siver Professor of Anthropolgy, New York University
    39. Gaurav C. Garg, PhD. Candidate, History Department, New York University
    40. Gianluca Violante, Dept of Economics, New York University
    41. Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Associate Professor, Gallatin, New York University
    42. Greg Grandin, Professor of History, New York University
    43. Guillaume Frechette, Associate Professor, Economics, Arts and Sciences, New York University
    44. Hye Jun Lee, Student, English and American Literature, College of Arts and Science, New York University
    45. Jeff Goodwin, Professor of Sociology, New York University
    46. John M. Archer, Professor of English, New York University
    47. Jonathan Morduch, Professor of Public Policy and Economics, NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University
    48. Jose Luis Montiel Olea, Department of Economics, New York University
    49. Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, Dept of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University
    50. Karl Storchmann, Economics Department, New York University
    51. Karla Reyes, Graduate Student, Steinhardt School, New York University,
    52. Kate Conroy, NYU Gallatin
    53. Kim Phillips-Fein, Associate Professor, Gallatin, New York University,
    54. Kiran Samuel, MA Student, Media, Culture & Communication, Steinhardt, New York University,
    55. L. Cortana, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University,
    56. Laura Murray, PhD student, Anthropology, New York University,
    57. Lauren Minsky, Asst Professor of History, New York University
    58. Linda Gordon, Florence Kelley Professor of History and University Professor of the Humanities, NYU
    59. Lisa Duggan, Prof of Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU
    60. Lisa Duggan, Professor, SCA, New York University,
    61. Luke Stark, NYU Steinhardt
    62. Manu Goswami, Associate Professor of History, New York University
    63. Mara Mills, Assistant Professor, Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University,
    64. Margaret Day, Digital Media Archivist, Teaching and Learning with Technology, NYUIT
    65. María Fe Martínez, Graduate Student, NYU Steinhardt
    66. Marie Cruz Soto, Clinical Assistant Professor, Gallatin School, New York University
    67. Marita Sturken, Professor, Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU
    68. Mary Nolan, Professor, History Department, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, New York University
    69. Meghna Chaudhuri, Dept of History, New York University
    70. Millery Polyne, Associate Professor, NYU Gallatin
    71. Mo Ogrodnik, Asssociate Professor, NYU Tisch School of the Arts
    72. Mohammad Hamad, Department of Sociology, City University of New York
    73. Moss Roberts, Prof of Chinese, East Asian studies, New York University
    74. Nathan H. Madson, Esq., Ph.D. student, Linguistic Anthropology, New York University
    75. Negar Taymoorzadeh, PhD student, Cinema Studies, Tisch School of the Arts
    76. Nicholas Mirzoeff, Professor, MCC, New York University
    77. Nilita Vachani, Teacher, Tisch School of the arts, NYU
    78. Paula Chakravartty, Associate Professor, Gallatin School & Department of Media Culture and Communication, NYU
    79. Pedro Cabello, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University,
    80. Priscilla Karant, Clinical Associate Professor, School of Professional Studies, New York University
    81. Prof. Michael Gilsenan, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Faculty Arts Sciences, New York University
    82. Professor Bertell Ollman, Dept. of Politics, New York University,
    83. Rachel Weber, President, Steinhardt Graduate Student Organization, New York University
    84. Radha S. Hegde, Associate Professor, MCC, Steinhardt, New York University
    85. Rayna Rapp, Professor, Anthropology, FAS, New York University
    86. Rebecca E. Karl, Associate Professor, History Department, New York University
    87. Ritty Lukose, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University
    88. Sahil Bhattad, NYU Steinhardt
    89. Samuel Carter Franklin, Graduate Student, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
    90. Sarah Bean, Graduate Student, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
    91. Shanker Satyanath, Professor, Arts and Sciences, New York University
    92. Sinclair Thomson, Associate Professor, History Department, New York University
    93. Sonia Das, Faculty, Dept of Anthropology, New York University
    94. Sonya Posmentier, Department of English, New York University
    95. Soumi Sarkar, MA, Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University
    96. Stephen Duncombe, Professor, Gallatin and MCC/Steinhardt, New York University
    97. Stephen Duncombe, Professor, Gallatin School & MCC, New York University
    98. Sydney Ludvigson, Professor, Department of Economics, New York University
    99. Tanner Tafelski, Graduate Student, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
    100. Tejaswini Ganti, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, New York University
    101. Thomas Abercrombie, Department of Anthropology, New York University
    102. Timothy J. Reiss, Professor Emeritus, Comparative Literature, New York University
    103. Toral Gajarawala, English and Comparative Literature, New York University
    104. Vasuki Nesiah, NYU Gallatin
    105. Vemana Madasu, NYU Steinhardt
    106. William Easterly, Professor of Economics, New York University
    107. Yoav Halperin, doctoral student, Department of Media Culture and Communication, NYU
    108. Zachary Lockman, Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and of History, NYU
    109. Zeynep Sertbulut, PhD Student, Anthropology, New York University
    110. Zöe Graham, Cinema Studies, New York University

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