• “Recent developments threaten the study of different ways of life…”

     Statement by 84 Sociologists on the Need to Maintain Constitutional and Academic Freedoms

    ICF Team

    October 17, 2015


    We, as sociologists and concerned citizens, feel extremely concerned about the lynching at Dadri, and the murders of scholars and thinkers like MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and others, and wish to register our strong protest.

    We are not just shocked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s late response, but also by the implications of the victim-blaming statement he made. To say that ‘Hindus and Muslims should not fight each other but should fight poverty instead’ puts the onus for peace and fighting poverty entirely on civil society and communities and absolves the state of any responsibility for both. As Prime Minister, he should have asserted that the state would defend the rule of law.

    In a country with some 4693 communities and over 415 living languages, each community is bound to have its own customs, including dietary choices. Individuals may also follow practices different from the ones followed by the majority of their community. Any attempt to impose a uniform belief or practice, on either individuals or communities, is antithetical to the freedom enshrined in the Constitution. It is the state’s responsibility to ensure this freedom.

    Further, as scholars, we are extremely worried about the implications of these recent developments for our ability to study and write about different life ways, and to critically analyse society, including social phenomena like religion.

    SIGNED (in alphabetical order)

    Janaki Abraham, University of Delhi
    Anuja Agrawal, University of Delhi
    Yasmeen Arif, University of Delhi
    Mahuya Bandyopadhyay, University of Delhi
    Xonzoi Barbora, Tata Institute of Social Sciences- Guwahati
    Amita Baviskar, Institute of Economic Growth
    Pratiksha Baxi, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    Jyothsna Belliappa, Azim Premji University
    Anjali Bhatia, University of Delhi
    Reema Bhatia, University of Delhi
    Vasundhara Bhojvaid, University of Delhi
    Anuj Bhuwania, South Asian University
    Rita Brara, University of Delhi
    Anand Chakravarti, rtd. University of Delhi
    Ruchi Chaturvedi, University of Cape Town
    Radhika Chopra, University of Delhi
    Dia Da Costa, University of Alberta
    Ajay Dandekar, Shiv Nadar University
    Ankur Datta, South Asian University
    Satish Deshpande, University of Delhi
    Vincent Ekka, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    Tanweer Fazal, Jamia Millia Islamia
    Shalini Grover, Institute of Economic Growth
    Radhika Gupta, Max Planck Institute, Göttingen
    Chandan Gowda, Azim Premji University
    Rajesh Kamble, University of Mumbai
    Sasheej Hegde, University of Hyderabad
    Farhana Ibrahim, Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi
    Surinder S. Jodhka, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    Kalpana Kannabiran, Centre for Social Development
    Ravinder Kaur, Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi
    Sakshi Khurana, V. V. Giri National Labour Institute
    Ravi Kumar, South Asian University
    Satendra Kumar, Lucknow
    C. Lakshmanan, Madras Institute of Development Studies
    Amman Madan, Azim Premji University
    T. N. Madan, Institute of Economic Growth
    Nissim Mannathukkaren, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    Nayanika Mathur, University of Cambridge
    Deepak Mehta, University of Delhi
    Gayatri Menon, Azim Premji University
    Arima Misra, Azim Premji University
    Radhika Mongia, York University
    Geetha Nambissan, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    Balmurli Natarajan, William Paterson University
    Tiplut Nongbri, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    Rajni Palriwala, University of Delhi
    Amrita Pande, University of Cape Town
    Sujata Patel, University of Hyderabad
    Tulsi Patel, University of Delhi
    Shilpa Phadke, Tata Institute of Social Sciences- Mumbai
    Purendra Prasad, University of Hyderabad
    Raka Ray, University of California at Berkeley
    D. R. Sahu, University of Lucknow
    Savyasaachi, Jamia Millia Islamia
    Manisha Sethi, Jamia Millia Islamia
    Hira Singh, York University
    Alito Siquira, University of Goa
    G. Srinivas, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    Sanjay Srivastava, Institute of Economic Growth
    V. Sujatha, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    Nandini Sundar, University of Delhi
    Ravi Sundaram, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
    Renny Thomas, University of Delhi
    Patricia Uberoi, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
    Carol Upadhya, National Institute of Advanced Study
    Divya Vaid, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    Sudha Vasan, University of Delhi
    A. R. Vasavi, Bangalore
    Susan Visvanathan, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    Anurekha Chari Wagh, University of Pune
    Virginius Xaxa, Tata Institute of Social Sciences– Guwahati
    Kamei Aphun, University of Delhi
    Tina Chakravarty, Sophia College, Mumbai.
    Roma Chatterji, University of Delhi
    Maitrayee Chaudhary, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    Walter Fernandes, North Eastern Social Research Centre, Guwahati
    Rudolf Heredia, Independent Researcher, Mumbai
    Navdeep Mathur, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
    Nilika Mehrotra, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    Veena Naregal, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi
    Meena Radhakrishna, formerly of Delhi University
    Manjeet Singh, Government College, Jind, Haryana

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