September 01, 2015

India: JNU Teacher's Association holds meeting to condemn assassination of Prof.Kalburgi (Note by Mohan Rao on Facebook)

via: https://www.facebook.com/mohan.rao.18847876?fref=nf

Jawaharlal Nehru University Teacher's Association held a meeting today to condemn the assassination of Prof.Kalburgi obviously by members of a Hindutva group at Dharwad the day before.

Prof.Sachidananda Sinha, President of JNUTA, said the attack on intellectual freedoms was widespread and should be resisted. It was an attack on freedom of expression, on freedom of speech, and how we conduct our curriculum and classes.

Prof. Vijaya Ramaswamy, the historian, who has worked on Akka Mahadevi's vacanas expressed her astonishment, and sadness, that the Veerashiva movement - anti-Brahminical, anti-caste, anti-idol worship - had come to this.

Prof. Nandita Narain, from the DU, suggested we make September 5th, Teacher's Day, a day of protest. I suggested a public event, where Prof.Shiva Prakash - earlier a victim to these same forces for writing about Basaveshwara - could talk.

I suggested a reading from A.K.Ramanujan's wonderful translations of Basava's vacanas, that Prof. Janaki Nair could do or I could.

The same forces got Ramanujan's masterful essay on the various versions of the Ramayana removed from DU's syllabus.

Wendy Doniger got removed, institutions have been attacked all over, in Pune for example.

This is not an assault on people who are anti-superstition. This is an assault on what liberal democracies stand for: the right to think and express yourself - as long as you do not blaspheme. This is an attack on all education, on arts and humanities, and also on science.

This is Hindutva IS.

We must resist this. Please look out for DUTA, FEDCUTA and JNUTA calls for action on 5th September.

We are all very busy, but we must be part of this.

Mohan Rao

September 1st, 2015