Current Fellows of the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Study, JNU, Delhi.

Professor M. Jagadesh Kumar,

Vice Chancellor

Jawaharlal Nehru University

New Delhi 110067

February 22, 2016.

Dear Professor Kumar,

As current Fellows of the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute for Advanced Study, we write with deep concern at recent events on the campus of JNU. We chose to come here because of JNU’s reputation for debate, discussion, high scholarly achievement, and extraordinarily rich campus life. We feel privileged to be here at this center of academic excellence. Over the past week or so, we have watched with deep alarm at the manner in which student debate and discussion has been policed. The patently trumped up charges of sedition against students participating in democratic discussion of public events is highly objectionable. Universities have to protect the right of their faculty and students to freedom of speech and thought. We share the concern of our colleagues who teach at JNU, and indeed colleagues from dozens of universities all over the world, that this freedom is now threatened. The police have no right to make arbitrary searches and arrests. Rather, the police should ensure that students, faculty and other staff are not intimidated by aviolent mob at the gates of the campus. It is the job of the University Administration to safeguard JNU’s intellectual traditions, and the safety of its students and teachers. We ask you, as the University’s senior most administrator, to provide a public assurance to students, teachers and the international community that JNU will remain a place for free and vigorous discussion and debate, and not open to police actions ofthe kind it has recently seen.


Peter Arnds, Fellow TCD and Director, M.Phil in Comparative Literature and M.Phil in Literary Translation, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Renata Czekalska, Associate Professor, Institute of the Middle and Far East,

Chair for East and South Asian Studies, Jagiellonian University, Krakow,


Lina M Fruzzetti, Professor of Anthropology, Brown University

Suvir Kaul Professor, English, Comparative Literature, South Asian Studies,

University of Pennsylvania, USA

Ania Loomba, Professor, English, Comparative Literature, South Asian Studies,

University of Pennsylvania, USA

Katharina Michaelowa, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of

Zurich, Switzerland

Shirin M. Rai, Professor, Department of Politics and International Studies

University of Warwick, UK

Ayesha Ray, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, King’s

College, Pennsylvania, USA

Svati P. Shah, Associate Professor, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies,

University of Massacussetts, Amherst, USA

Ari Sitas, Professor, Sociology and Global Studies, University of Cape Town,

South Africa.

Janjira Sombatpoonsiri, Lecturer Faculty of Political Science Thammasat

University Prachan, Bangkok

Comments are closed.