A Statement by Nordic scholars

Statement of Solidarity with Students and Faculty of JNU, Delhi

We the undersigned unequivocally condemn the police action at JNU campus since February 11, 2016 and the physical and verbal attacks on students and faculty members of the institute inside the Patiala House Court by the BJP/RSS/ABVP and allied forces.

We believe that the arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar (reportedly without a warrant and by plain-clothes policemen) under the charges of “sedition” is a serious attack on students’ right to peaceful protest. It is a thinly-veiled attempt to intimidate dissenting groups and to stifle spaces for democratic debate such as the institutions of higher education in India.

The allegation against the entire JNU community of being “anti-national” comes close at the heels of similar allegations against Late Rohith Vemula and his friends for condemning the hanging of Yakub Memon. We believe that the university should be a safe space to critically debate all issues, including the moral validity of capital punishment and the struggle of Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination. The deployment of state force and police action to curb such debate is a direct threat to the spirit of democracy itself.

We also condemn the view put forth by certain sections of the Indian media, vilifying student politics and social justice activism. We would like to assert that speaking up for the rights of marginalized communities such as Dalits, Adivasis, queer people and religious minorities is well within the purview of a meaningful education. We stand strongly in solidarity with the protesting students and staff members of JNU and join them in the demand for immediate release of Kanhaiya Kumar and a stop to all uncalled for police action on students and campuses.

In solidarity,

Srilata, PhD candidate (Human Geography, Lund University)

Moumita Sen, PhD candidate (Culture Studies, University of Oslo)

Siddharth Sareen, Guest researcher (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies)

Kenneth Bo Nielsen, Coordinator (Norwegian Network for Asian Studies)

Knut Aukland, PhD candidate (Study of Religion, University of Bergen)

Michael Hertzberg, PhD Candidate (Study of Religion, University of Bergen)

Göran Djurfeldt, (Senior Professor, Lund University, Sweden)

Andreas Malm, Postdoc (Human Ecology, Lund University)

Prakruti Ramesh, PhD Student (Anthropology, Aarhus University)

Sumanya Anand Velamur, PhD Candidate, (Study of Religion, University of Bergen)

Professor Tor H Aase, Department of Geography, University of Bergen

Kaamya Sharma, PhD Student (South Asian Studies, Aarhus University)

Isha Dubey, PhD Student ( History, Aarhus University)

Guro W. Samuelsen, PhD Student (Culture Studies, University of Oslo)

Camelia Dewan, PhD Candidate (Social Anthropology, University of London)

Patrik Oskarsson, Researcher, (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala)

Marina Korzenevica (University of Copenhagen, PhD, Copenhagen)

Tereza Kuldova, Post-doctoral Fellow (University of Oslo)

Sajjad A, PhD Student (Marine Sciences, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)

Gudrun Cecilie E. Helland, (Study Coordinator, University of Oslo)

Julie Blakstad Tysland, Master Student (Political Science, University of Oslo)

Hemanshu Kumar, Post-doctoral Fellow (Indian School of Business)

Shomak Chakrabarti, Master Student (Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi)

Ashima Sood, urban scholar

Shrabana Datta, PhD scholar (Anthropology, University of Munich)

Olle Törnquist, Professor (Political Science, University of Oslo)

Noura Alkhalili (Human Geography, Lund University)

Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt, Professor (Human Geography, Lund University)

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