Chomsky, Pamuk, 84 Others Slam ‘Shameful Act of Indian Government’


Eminent academicians, scientists and writers from across the world, including Noam Chomsky and Orhan Pamuk, have recorded their condemnation of the arrest of JNU student Kanhaiya Kumar in a strongly-worded statement that says it is "evidence of the present government's deeply authoritarian nature, intolerant of any dissent".

A statement signed by 86 academicians from renowned universities also condemns "the culture of authoritarian menace that the present government in India has generated".
The statement says: "We have learnt of the shameful act of the Indian government which, invoking sedition laws formulated by India's colonial rulers, ordered the police to enter the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus and unlawfully arrest a student leader, Mr. Kanhaiya Kumar, on charges of inciting violence – without any proof whatever of such wrongdoing on his part."

Expressing solidarity with protesting JNU students and faculty, who have boycotted classes to press for Kumar's release, the statement says: "Mr. Kumar, whose speech (widely available on a video) cannot in any way be connected with the slogans uttered on the previous day, was nonetheless arrested for 'anti-national' behaviour and for violating the sedition laws against the incitement to violence. Since there is no evidence to establish these charges, we can only conclude that this arrest is further evidence of the present government's deeply authoritarian nature, intolerant of any dissent, setting aside India's longstanding commitment to toleration and plurality of opinion, replicating the dark times of an oppressive colonial period and briefly of the Emergency in the mid-1970s. "

The action of the police had brought "great dishonor" to the government, the signatories assert, and urge "all those genuinely concerned about the future of India and Indian universities to protest in wide mobilisation against it."



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