Professor Homi K Bhabha poses a few questions to the JNU Vice Chancellor

Homi K Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, Department of English, Senior Advisor on the Humanities to the President and Provost, Harvard University, poses a few questions to the JNU Vice Chancellor

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From: Homi K Bhabha
Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 12:07 PM
To: “chancellor@mail.jnu.ac.in” , “registrar@mail.jnu.ac.in” , “rector@mail.jnu.ac.in” , “vc@mail.jnu.ac.in”
Subject: Situation at JNU

Dear Senior Administrators,

The treatment of students on the campus of JNU is a deplorable and disfiguring development for further education in India. Demonstrations of differences of opinion and belief are part of the everyday experience of campuses in democratic societies where the freedom of thought and speech are valued. In fact, it is the solemn responsibility of educational leaders and administrators to foster such freedoms and to protect the values enshrined within them.

Instead of engaging with the diversity of opinion expressed by your own students and faculty — the members of your very own community — you have resorted to the criminalization of dissent. This has led to widespread misrepresentation of the actions and opinions of various members of the student body. What should have been a passionate and well-informed debate on campus has turned into an ugly media spectacle of no conceivable value to the JNU community. I implore the senior administration of JNU to play a leading role in establishing a constructive and productive mode of interaction with the student body. Yours is an institution with a great unblemished history, and today the eyes of the world are vigilantly watching for you to recover the trust of your students and faculty, and return JNU to its rightful place amongst the most enlightened academic institutions in the world.

Best wishes,
Homi Bhabha

HOMI K. BHABHA
Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, Department of English
Director, Mahindra Humanities Center
Senior Advisor on the Humanities to the President and Provost
Harvard University

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