Scholars Join Writers, Artistes In Protesting 'Rising Intolerance'

Another group of academics and scholars on Friday expressed their anguish over the “assault on academic and constitutional freedom” under the NDA regime.

Published: 31st October 2015 05:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st October 2015 05:36 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Another group of academics and scholars on Friday expressed their anguish over the “assault on academic and constitutional freedom” under the NDA regime.

Joining issue with the writers, artistes, filmmakers, historians and scientists over “rising intolerance”, 250 signatories mostly drawn from universities across the country said, “We as social scientists, scholars, teachers and concerned citizens, feel extremely concerned about the lynching at Dadri, and the murders of scholars and thinkers like M M Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and others and wish to register our strong protest.”

The scholars, including professors from leading institutions like Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Madras Institute of Development Studies, IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta, expressed “shock” at Prime Minister Modi’s “late response” to the incidents and 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,” the statement added.

Among those who have signed the letter are former Jamia VC Mashirul Hasan, professor Imtiaz Ahmad, political scientist Zoya Hasan and historians Romila Thapar and Sumit Sarkar. “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,” they said, adding, “Any attempt to impose a uniform belief of 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.”


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