2018: The Year of Assaults on Citizens
December 29, 2018
As 2018 comes to an end and we take the final step towards the new year, let us not forget that 2018, even with its moments of relief, was a difficult year for the citizens of India. There was a concentrated attack on religious minorities, secular institutions, academicians, writers, artists, and social and political dissenters and activists. It was onslaught against all people and groups who do not subscribe to the politics of Hindutva in the country. The Indian Cultural Forum has compiled a list of some of the events that shook the country in 2018.
Karnatic musician T M Krishna’s performance, organised by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and SPIC MACAY, was “postponed” after AAI’s tweets about T M Krishna’s performance received backlash from trolls who accused AAI of organising a concert that would feature the “anti-India”, “anti-Modi”, “Urban Naxal” singer using public funds.
Ramachandra Guha decided he will not join Ahmedabad University after ABVP objected to the appointment of the historian on the grounds that he had “anti-national” views. Delhi University proposed removing three books by political scientist Kancha Ilaiah from its curriculum citing their “controversial content” and “vitriolic nature towards Hinduism”.
The Hinduisation of education, erasing history from the textbooks in the name of religion and the continuous, almost planned attacks on academicians and free-thinkers clearly shows the right-wing’s fear of liberal thought and freedom of expression.
In a landmark judgment on 28 Septemeber, the Supreme Court granted women's entry to Kerala’s Sabarimala temple irrespective of their age. Following the judgment, the state witnessed a huge protest against women's entry to the temple.
Yogi Adityanath changed the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj, claiming that Prayagraj was the original name of the city.
The Maharashtra police conducted simultaneous raids in several cities and arrested five human rights activists, Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and P varavara Rao for inciting violence in the Bhima Koregao violence in January.
When a university is reduced to a profit-making institution, the question of intellectual freedom and critical-creative transformation of humanity becomes insignificant. Instead, the real question is how much profit a university is making.
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