Statement of Solidarity with JNU: from the community at Columbia University, New York

Posted by sepoy on February 19, 2016 · 6 mins read

We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the violence unleashed by the BJP, RSS, ABVP, and the Delhi Police within and outside the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus over the last few days.

We demand the immediate withdrawal of the unfounded, unjust and archaic charges brought against JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar, and of his release from custody. We are shocked by the inability or unwillingness of the police to shield him from the mob at the Patiala House Court. We demand an end to the presence of the police on campus, and their continued harassment and intimidation of students and teachers.

We further believe that the charges of 'sedition' and 'anti-national activities' being brought against Umar Khalid and other students (based on claims that they resorted to anti-India slogans and spoke out for Kashmir's right to self-determination) are more reflective of the failure of the state to respect critiques and engage meaningfully with disagreements, the failure to see its own jingoism, the failure to appreciate the value of robust, diverse and politicized public universities, and the failure to concede that the freedom to speak up, especially against state injustice, is a fundamental right of all Indian 'nationals'.

We therefore strongly condemn this increasingly prevalent tendency to unleash state- sponsored violence and intimidation techniques on our universities. We see this as connected to a more general culture of intolerance towards any voice that articulates dissent or resistance against the capitalist, casteist and Hindu fundamentalist government, evident most recently in the systematic harassment and tragic death of Rohith Vemula at the University of Hyderabad. We are further alarmed by the vicious slander against dissenting JNU students, and the maligning of the university as a whole, on social media and television.

We would like to extend our solidarity with the JNU students in this immediate fight, and express our hopes for a long-term, united movement towards a more just and a truly free society.

  1. Kevin Witkow, MA, Religion
  2. Mamfatou Baldeh T.
  3. Quinn A. Clark, PhD student, Religious Studies
  4. Sohini Pillai, MA (2015), Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies (MESAAS)
  5. Aftab Ahmad, Hindi-Urdu program, MESAAS
  6. Menna Elsayed, Columbia University Undergraduate, Sociology
  7. Sania Khalid
  8. Manpreet Kaur, Department of Religion
  9. Darializa Avila Chevalier, Columbia College, MESAAS
  10. Francis Russo, MA/MSc, Columbia University and the London School of Economics
  11. Uponita Mukherjee, PhD student, MESAAS
  12. Marina Alamo Bryan, PhD Anthropology
  13. Laura Yan, History
  14. Ghassan Fawzi, MESAAS
  15. Vatsal Naresh, IRCPL
  16. Liza Chowdhury, Columbia College Class of 2019
  17. Amber Officer-Narvasa, Sociology, Columbia College
  18. Cara Rock-Singer, PhD Candidate, Religion
  19. Satbir Chowdry, MPA Candidate, SIPA
  20. Matan Cohen, Columbia University
  21. Mariam Elnozahy, Barnard Undergraduate, History
  22. Tania Bhattacharyya, PhD candidate, Department of History
  23. Leela Khanna, South Asia Institute
  24. Roberto Valdovinos, Doctoral student, Columbia University
  25. Zeinab Azarbadegan, PhD student, Department of History
  26. Devansh Mehta
  27. Karl Wagner, Columbia College, Psychology
  28. Divya Cherian, PhD 2015, History
  29. Ulug Kuzuoglu, History
  30. Supriya Ambwani, School of General Studies
  31. Hannah Elmer, PhD Candidate, History
  32. Irem Az, PhD Program, Anthropology
  33. Fainan Lakha, BA Comparative Literature and Society
  34. Damini Mohan, BC'15, WGSS
  35. Ahana Maken, BA, Economics and Mathematics
  36. Chien-Wen Kung, History
  37. Alwin Franke, Germanic Languages
  38. Vivek Gupta
  39. Sayantani Mukherjee, PhD student, Department of History
  40. Rachel Grace Newman, PhD Candidate, History
  41. Anish Gawande, Columbia College
  42. Gayathri Ganesh, BS Candidate, Columbia School of Engineering
  43. Max Shmookler, MESAAS
  44. Sydni Meyer, GSAS, South Asia Institute
  45. Eduardo Romero Dianderas, PhD Anthropology
  46. Angela Giordani, PhD Candidate, History and ICLS
  47. Erasmia Gorla, Student, Barnard College
  48. Susanna Ferguson, PhD candidate, History
  49. Max Binder, Columbia College, Comparative literature
  50. Antonina Woodsum, Department of History
  51. Ramlah merchant, BA in Psychology
  52. Alvaro Ortiz, Student
  53. Wendell Hassan Marsh, African Studies, MESAAS
  54. Aviroop Sengupta, PhD Student, MESAAS
  55. Francis Russo, MA/MSc International History Alum
  56. Nick Tackes, MA candidate in Religion
  57. Dominic Vendell, PhD Candidate, History
  58. Sayori Ghoshal, PhD Student, MESAAS
  59. Dayana Khatib, MIA, SIPA
  60. Nathanael Shelley, PhD, MESAAS
  61. A. George Bajalia, PhD Student, Anthropology
  62. Megan Stater, Undergraduate, Columbia University
  63. Daniel West, PhD, Anthropology
  64. Adil Habib, Columbia College, MESAAS
  65. Nick Serpe, PhD candidate, History
  66. Mark E. Balmforth, Department of Religion
  67. Danielle Carr, Anthropology
  68. Luciana Chamorro, PhD Student, Anthropology
  69. Josephine Lichten, History, Barnard College
  70. Roy Bar Sadeh, PhD Program, History
  71. Simran Jeet Singh, GSAS, Religion
  72. Aditi surie von czechowski, MESAAS
  73. Yazan Nagi, Undergraduate, MESAAS
  74. Ian Trueger, Columbia College, History
  75. Hallie Nell Swanson, BA Comparative Literature
  76. Aya Ouais, Columbia College
  77. Marianne González Le Saux, PhD Candidate, History
  78. Kamille Perry, Columbia University
  79. Anand Venkatkrishnan, PhD (2015), Religion
  80. Owain Lawson, PhD Student, History
  81. Casey Primel, MESAAS
  82. Shezza Abboushi Dallal, Barnard College, History
  83. Selim Karlitekin, MESAAS
  84. Arja Dayal, MPA in Development Practice, SIPA
  85. Christine Marrewa Karwoski, MESAAS
  86. Malvika Jolly, GS, MESAAS
  87. Henny Ziai, PhD Student, MESAAS
  88. Anna Schirrer, PhD, Anthropology
  89. Samyak Ghosh, PhD Student, MESAAS
  90. Tamara Kawar, MA, MESAAS
  91. Nadia Sariahmed, MESAAS
  92. Hanine Hassan, MESAAS
  93. Zachary Levine, Doctoral Program, Department of History
  94. Maha Shaista Ahmed, Columbia College '18
  95. Meghan Hartman - Barnard College 2016, Religion
  96. Stephen J. Sullivan, PhD, History
  97. Joseph Fisher, PhD Student, Religion
  98. Aruna Krishnakumar, Columbia School of Social Work, Class of 2011
  99. Fizza Sulaiman, Undergraduate, Biology
  100. Lindsey Dayton, PhD Candidate, History
  101. Syantani Chatterjee, PhD Student, Anthropology
  102. Philip Cherian, Visiting Scholar, The Center for Science and Society
  103. Gale Berninghausen, PhD Candidate, Department of Art History & Archaeology
  104. Dimitris Papadopoulos, IRCPL, Columbia University
  105. Kate McIntyre, GSAS, English and Comparative Literature
  106. Ibrahim Elhoudaiby, MESAAS
  107. Abram W. Smith
  108. Sarika Kumar, BC'16, Urban Studies & Environmental Science
  109. Vivek Yadav, PhD student, MESAAS
  110. Devika Kapadia, CC
  111. Taarini Mookherjee, PhD Student, English and Comparative Literature
  112. Scot McFarlane, PhD Student, History
  113. Sarandha Jain, PhD 1st year, Anthropology
  114. Poorvi Bellur, Columbia College


Tridib Ghoshal | February 20, 2016

I agree