MUMBAI: In the backdrop of JNU and Hyderabad university row, some faculty members and students of the city-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), along with some activists, are holding a two-day conference here to discuss the "attack on autonomy of educational institutions and freedom of expression".
"This is not an official event of TISS. We are a group of academics who are deeply concerned at the attack on autonomy of some higher education institutions," R Ramkumar, Professor and Dean (School of Development Studies) at TISS, said. The initiative, called 'Celebrating freedom and pluralism', will be held at the Y B Chavan Centre, Nariman Point, here on March 5 and 6, he said.
"We are organising this event because we are concerned over the evolving situation in the country where different constitutional rights of citizens are under threat," Ramakumar told PTI here today. “We are worried about a situation that is emerging where there is a constant brow beating against freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom to follow one's religion, freedom to eat the food that we want to eat and the dumbing down of events," he said.
"Violent incidents over food habits of various social groups have escalated. Science and reason are being unceremoniously thrust aside in a renewed campaign of obscurantism. There have been widespread attacks on the freedom of speech and expression," he said.
"The interventions of the government in Hyderabad Central University and JNU are just a few of the important examples. We see this as part of a growing trend of intolerance in the society as a whole," he said. Earlier this month, JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on sedition charges in connection with an event held on the JNU campus where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.