Aus academics make statement in support of dissenting Indian students

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 In Solidarity With The Dissenting Student Community In India:

A Statement From Australian Academics 
These are the views expressed by the above and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Indian Link editorial team 
As academics, students, writers, artists and activists from Australia, we condemn the use of oppressive power by the Indian state, its police, and Hindu fundamentalist groups to shut down voices of dissent emerging from within public universities in India.
We join the international community in extending our support to the students, faculty and staff at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Hyderabad Central University (HCU) and many other public universities, who have been courageously protesting the overreach of state power and brutal stifling of dissent, carried out in the guise of majoritarian Hindu nationalism (Hindutva).
Students at JNU and HCU have been targeted for opposing the death penalty awarded to Afzal Guru and Yakub Memon, convicted for “terrorism” by the Supreme Court of India. Students’ opposition to the death penalty – an act of violence carried out by the state to assert its sovereign might – has been manipulated by the state, university administrators, and irresponsible media reports, to be understood as their support for “terrorists”, and thus considered treasonous. The labelling of student activists as “anti-national” by invoking the draconian law on sedition (a legacy of British colonial rule), is a blatant attack on academic freedom. These attacks have been orchestrated by the BJP regime to strike fear among citizens who question its practices of anti-minority religious hate mongering and xenophobic propaganda. HCU student Rohith Vemula was suspended and driven to suicide because of the way the university administration and the state intimidated and threatened him. These attacks on students and free speech are not aberrations or sudden spurts of violence. Rather, they are part of a pattern of attacks on every idea and expression that does not pander to fascist Hindutva ideology.
We deplore the attack on journalists, students, academics and activists by the lawyers at the Patiala House Court premises. The silence and inaction of the police in controlling this situation only testify to the state’s complicity in these events. We are appalled by the jingoistic and prejudiced reporting by some media channels to vilify JNU student activists Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid.
We endorse the demands made by the protesting students, staff and faculty at JNU and HCU. We demand: a) the immediate release of the Kanhaiya Kumar, President of the JNU Student Union, and Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya; b) that the Bar Council of India enquiry into the attacks on journalists and protestors in Patiala House Court be carried out without political manipulation; c) that there should be no further intimidation and arrests of student activists for carrying out peaceful protests; d) the government must preserve the autonomy of universities and de-militarise campuses.
We acknowledge that our solidarity is being extended from territory occupied by a settler colonial state. We also acknowledge that the Indigenous peoples who have not ceded their sovereignty, own this land. This acknowledgement is a necessary precondition for building transnational solidarity against governments – like those in India and Australia – that use democracy and national security as alibis for legitimising their everyday violence.
Details, contact: Oishik Sircar, Melbourne Law School | The University of Melbourne | oishik.sircar@unimelb.edu.au
Endorsed by:

  1. Debolina Dutta, PhD Researcher and Lawyer, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne
  1. Oishik Sircar, Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Researcher, Institute for International Law and the Humanities, Melbourne Law School
  1. Samia Khatun, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of History, University of Melbourne
  1. Shakira Hussein, Hon. Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne
  1. Mridula Nath Chakraborty, Academic, Monash University
  1. Irfan Ahmad, Associate Professor of Political Anthropology, ACU, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Rajgopal Saikumar, PhD Candidate, The Australian National University
  1. James Goodman, Associate Professor, University of Technology Sydney
  1. Kama Maclean, Associate Professor, UNSW
  1. Monique Hameed, Tutor, University of Melbourne
  1. Jordy Silverstein, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Melbourne
  1. Heather Goodall, Professor Emerita in History, University of Technology Sydney
  1. Sukhmani Khorana, Lecturer, University of Wollongong
  1. Dr Zeena Elton, Independent Researcher/Writer
  1. Trish May, PhD student, UNSW
  1. Maryam Alavi Nia, PhD Candidate, UNSW
  1. Assa Doron, Academic , Australian National University
  1. Meera Ashar, Lecturer (Assistant Professor), The Australian National University
  1. Samanthi Gunawardana, Lecturer, Monash University
  1. Josh Cullinan, Secretary, Australia Bangladesh Solidarity Network
  1. Dr Lionel Bopage, Retired Public Servant, n/a
  1. Neeti Aryal Khanal, PhD candidate, Monash University
  1. Erin Watson-Lynn, Lecturer, Monash University
  1. Roanna Gonsalves, Writer and academic, UNSW
  1. Michelle de Kretser, Writer, University of Sydney
  1. Dr Ruth De Souza, Stream Leader, Research, Policy and Evaluation, , Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health
  1. Hannah Courtney, PhD Candidate, UNSW
  1. Dr Danny Butt, Lecturer, Centre for Cultural Partnerships, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne
  1. John Zubrzycki, PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales
  1. Ben Spies-Butcher, Senior Lecturer, Macquarie University, Australia
  1. Camilla Palmer, Postgraduate Researcher, University of New South Wales
  1. Brenda Dobia, Senior Lecturer, Western Sydney University
  1. Coel Kirkby, Postdoctoral Fellow, Melbourne Law School
  1. Elizabeth King, Student, UNSW
  1. Rajpaul Sandhu, Teaching, ACS
  1. David Feith, Subject Coordinator, Humanities, Monash College
  1. Wimal Jayakody, Member of PHRE
  1. Steve Pereira , Community Engagement, Melbourne University
  1. Anura, Real Estate Sales, PHRE
  1. Sithy Marikar, Vice President – AGGSl, Australian Labor Party
  1. S. R. Sivasubramaniam, Engineer
  1. Padraic Gibson, Senior Researcher, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, University of Technology Sydney
  1. Vandana Ram, Artist
  1. Victoria Baldwin, Administrator
  1. Robin Jeffrey, Retired Academic
  1. Nadia Rhook, Lecturer, Latrobe University
  1. Mohamed Masood, President, Werribee Islamic Centre
  1. Anthony P. D’Costa, Chair and Professor of Contemporary Indian Studies, University of Melbourne
  1. Yamini Narayanan, ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow, Deakin University
  1. Monimalika Sengupta, PhD Candidate, Monash University
  1. Parichay Patra, Doctoral Candidate, Monash University, Australia
  1. Lucy Honan, Teacher, Australian Education Union Councillor
  1. Arka Chattopadhyay, PhD student, University of Western Sydney
  1. Rev.Dato’ Dr.Sumana Siri, Buddhist Cardinal of Europe, Buddhist Realists’ Movement, U.K.,Italy & France
  1. Kalpana Ram, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Macquarie University
  1. Dr Sagar Sanyal, Adjunct lecturer, University of Melbourne
  1. Piergiorgio Moro, Secretary, Australia Asia Worker Links
  1. Beth Sometimes, Researcher, VCA, Melbourne University
  1. Russell Smith, Lecturer, Australian National University
  1. Anuparna Mukherjee, Ph.D. Researcher, ANU
  1. Amy Thomas, PhD Candidate, University of Technology, Sydney
  1. Shak Sandhu, Restaurant Manager
  1. Stephen Church, Doctoral Student/Casual Lecturer & Tutor, University of New South Wales
  1. Angela Smith, Researcher, North Africa Mixed Migration Task Force
  1. Balraj Sangha, Justice Of The Peace, Australian Labor Party
  1. Emma Torzillo, Medical Doctor, University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney
  1. Anne Brewster, Associate Professor, UNSW
  1. Lalitha Chelliah, Nurse, 3 CR Broadcaster; Socialist Alliance member
  1. Max Kaiser, PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne
  1. Dr Amanda Gilbertson, McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Melbourne
  1. Faisal Al-Asaad, Graduate Research, University of Melbourne
  1. Jerome Small, Industrial Organiser, Socialist Alternative
  1. Milo Adler-Gillies, Student, Paris 8
  1. Priya Chacko, Lecturer, University of Adelaide
  1. Vivien Seyler, Administrative Officer, South Asian Studies Association of Australia
  1. Bina Fernandez, Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
  1. Ghassan Hage, Professor, University of Melbourne
  1. Maria Elander, Lecturer in Criminology, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne
  1. Edward Mussawir, Lecturer, Griffith University
  1. Julia Lomas, PhD Candidate, Art History And Theory, Monash University
  1. Chris Andrews, Associate Professor, Western Sydney University
  1. Ben Silverstein, Lecturer, UNSW
  1. Alexandra Watkins, Academic, Deakin University
  1. Isabella Ofner, Researcher and Lecturer, The University of Melbourne
  1. Bina D’Costa, Academic, Department of International Relations, The Australian National University
  1. Shweta Kishore, Teaching Associate, Monash University
  1. Léuli Eshraghi, PhD Candidate, Monash University
  1. Dr. Ridwanul Hoque, Visiting Scholar at La Trobe Law School, La Trobe University
  1. Kristen Smith, Medical Anthropologist, University of Melbourne
  1. Joan Nestle, Independent Writer
  1. Adrian McNeil, Senior Lecturer, Monash University
  1. Parakrama Niriella, Theatre and Film Director, National Federation of Theatre Artists Sri Lanka
  1. Cait Storr, Sessional lecturer and PhD candidate, Melbourne Law School
  1. Greg Bailey, Hon. Research Fellow in Asian Studies (Sanskrit), La Trobe University
  1. Ian Woolford, Lecturer, La Trobe University
  1. Michael Stevenson, Retired
  1. Dolly Kikon, Department of Anthropology and Development Studies, University of Melbourne
  1. Jasmine Ali, Researcher, RMIT University
  1. Dr Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, Senior Fellow, Resource, Environment & Development Program, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University
  1. Alison Young, Professor, University of Melbourne
  1. Usha Natarajan, Law Professor, American University in Cairo
  1. Ekta Sharma, Poet & Activist
  1. Rose Parfitt, Research Fellow, Melbourne Law School
  1. Suzette Mayr, PhD Student, University of New South Wales
  1. Leigh Hopkinson, Writer
  1. Amy Parish, PhD Candidate, UNSW
  1. Samantha Balaton-Chrimes, Lecturer in International Studies, Deakin University
  1. Audrey Yue, Associate Professor, The University of Melbourne


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