• SAHMAT Statement on the Attack on the Central University of Haryana

    October 3, 2016

    Maqbool Fida Husain, 'Holi' / Pinterest

    That the staging of a play written by the renowned writer and activist Mahasweta Devi would lead to questions, inquiry and "trouble" for two teachers of the English department of the Central University of Haryana, Snehsata and Manoj Kumar, is very hard to digest and must be condemned in the strongest of terms.
    The University has “apologised” to activists of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), but its activists continue to hound the administration as well as students and teachers involved with the staging of "Draupadi" by Mahasweta Devi. The misplaced and entirely ridiculous charge is that a scene in the play is "anti-national", which is the new catch-all phrase to bundle all those even slightly opposed to the BJP-RSS or even those who hold independent views.
    We are shocked by this hounding of the late Mahasweta Devi, who died recently and was praised even by senior Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leaders when they condoled her death. BJP President Mr Amit Shah went to the extent of saying, “Her contribution to Indian literature is peerless; 'Rudaali' and Hajar Churashir Maa were my personal favorites.”
    This is, once more, an attack by the ABVP on the freedom of expression in a central university. We condemn this latest assault and express solidarity with the professors being hounded.
    Vivan Sundaram
    Prabhat Patnaik
    Mihir Bhattacharya
    Saeed Mirza
    Sashi Kumar
    Ram Rahman
    Sukumar Muralidharan
    Abhilasha Kumari
    Sania Hashmi
    Akila Jayaraman
    Amar Farooqui
    Amol Saghar
    Anil Bhatti                 
    Anil Chandra
    Archana Prasad                      
    Arjun Dev                  
    Arpana Caur               
    Badri Raina                
    Biswamoy Pati                       
    C.P. Chandrasekhar
    Chanchal Chauhan
    Chandana Mathur
    D.N. Jha
    Dinesh Abrol
    Geeta Kapur    
    Indira Arjun Dev                    
    Indira Chandrasekhar
    Jauhar Kanungo
    Jayati Ghosh
    K.M. Shrimali             
    Lata Singh
    Lima Kanungo                       
    M.K. Raina
    Madangopal Singh
    Madhu Prasad            
    Malini Bhattacharya
    N.K. Sharma               
    Nina Rao
    Parthiv Shah
    MMP Singh
    Praveen Jha
    Rajinder Arora            
    Romi Khosla
    S. Kalidas
    Saif Mahmood
    Sohail Hashmi
    Utsa Patnaik
    Virendra Saini            
    Vishwamohan Jha      
    Zoya Hasan
    N.D. Jayaprakash
    Imrana Qadeer
    Jawrimal Parakh
    Rekha Awasthi 

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