Skip to main content

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Noam Chomsky
Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.
Signed under the aegis of Fresh Perspectives, USA, the academics, mainly from the US and UK, have said that the current environment in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the “alarming clampdown on every form of dissent in India.”
The statement appeals to “all students, workers, educationalists, writers, social justice activists, and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to take a stand on these human rights violations and demand immediate release of all imprisoned rights activists”.

Text of the statement: 

Since Narendra Modi took the Prime Minister’s office in 2014, there has been an alarming clampdown on every form of political dissent in India.
In recent months, the Maharashtra police arrested several prominent human rights activists including Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha and others in the Bhima- Koregaon case.
In a similar way, several years ago, Delhi University Professor Saibaba and political activist Kobad Ghandy were imprisoned on fabricated charges. All these social activists have a long history of challenging state violence and human rights abuses through democratic and constitutional means. Through their civil and human rights activism, they have become the voice of the voiceless, be it socially and economically marginalized communities, indigenous people, religious minorities, and victims of all kinds of oppressions in society.
As public intellectuals, writers, and poets they took the responsibility to develop political awareness, critical thinking, and the notion of social justice among the general public.
In Modi’s India, appalling attacks on Dalits (the so-called untouchables), Adivasis (the aboriginals of India), rationalists, Muslims and other religious minorities, and rights activists including human rights organizations like Amnesty International have continued and intensified.
The Modi Government, as part of its long-term political agenda to establish the Hindu nation, has been using its authority to silence any voice that challenges its domination and repression. The government has been using legal and extra-legal methods to suppress democratic, rational, and secular forces. In recent years, the vigilante groups associated with the ruling party have killed several rationalists, journalists, and secularists.
Moreover, the ruling party, by using its “legal” methods, has coercively detained and imprisoned public activists who are defending the fundamental rights of the people. To put them in prison the state first used its friendly media outlets to propagate the lie that these civil rights activists were conspiring to overthrow the Indian state.
By concocting a series of conspiracy stories, both the Indian state and the Maharashtra Government worked together to put civil rights activists behind the bars under draconian colonial sedition law.
These human rights violations raise questions of the responsibility of the international community and the global civil society in times of crisis. When the Supreme Court is unable to check the abuse of constitutional power and the judicial system cannot deliver justice to victims of state violence, then what should citizens do?
With all these undemocratic and authoritarian activities, the Indian state appears to be bulldozing its own constitution that upholds fundamental democratic rights and secular values.
Using all kinds of oppressive methods, the Modi Government is creating fear and apprehension among the people who challenge its neoliberal economic policies and ultra-nationalist agenda. These are pressing questions that we, as civil/human rights activists, are very concerned about.
We sincerely appeal to all students, workers, educationalists, writers, social justice activists, and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to take a stand on these human rights violations and demand immediate release of all imprisoned rights activists.
As citizens and immigrants, your voices play an important role in shaping public opinion in the campaign to free these wrongfully imprisoned activists. Your support to democracy, justice and free speech will help boost the morale of rights activists and democratic struggles in India. We invite all of you to actively participate in this global campaign and extend your solidarity with democratic rights activists.
---
Click HERE for list of signatories

Comments

Unknown said…
Various Indian governments, since 1947 have been MAFIAS comprising of the most corrupt bureaucracy, politicians supported by so called premier investigation and intelligence agencies like CBI, DRI, ED, etc. to implicate dissenters through forged and manipulated evidences.
I have evidence of the same, and am living in exile since 2004.
Anonymous said…
Manufacturing consent
vimal krishna said…
Looks like their voice has no takers in USA or the WEST, so India a green field?
There are no HR violations in India Mr. Chomski, use your intellect to keep your society drug and violence-free.
Raj said…
Well said. What does Chomsky know about India. Did he speak against terrorism in India or against human rights violation of minority in his own country?
Uma said…
When resident Indians do not think there is anything wrong with what Modi is doing, how can you expect NRIs to do so?
সৌরভ said…
NRIs, lots of them who belong from certain community from India are blind bhakts of Modi. Academics are either in exile or has put a blind eye and disowned the country already. This is a sad time and the plea is righteous.
Prof.Srinivasa Kunuthur said…
The freedom of thought, word, and deed are remarkable in India as compared to several countries of the world. The country absorbs well diverse races and religions across the world befitting the ancient culture and civilization that the country is endowed with. Whereas, certain antisocial and subversive elements abuse and misuse the freedom, it is quite but natural that the governance prevents civic disorder with criminal intents to keep the country peaceful and stable. Such corrective measures should not be construed as violative of human rights. It is essential to realize that human rights and responsibilities are two sides of the same coin and go together and they are not mutually exclusive.

TRENDING

'Halt Covid-19 vaccination drive': Indian doctors join campaign across 36 nations

By Rosamma Thomas*  A group of Spanish doctors first got together to call for a halt to the Covid-19 vaccinations, and doctors from other countries too later joined them – there are now over 12,000 doctors from India, Portugal, Canada, Hungary, South Africa, Israel and a host of other nations who have issued a call to halt vaccinations. On September 10, a group of Indian doctors came together to address the press over a webinar to explain why they thought the vaccination drive should end forthwith. Dr Amitav Banerjee, who after a career as an epidemiologist in the Indian Army now teaches at a private medical college in Pune, said there was no longer a medical emergency. Children are at low risk of infection, and there is good reason to halt vaccination and conduct proper research, given the high number of adverse events. There is a sudden and poorly explained spike in the number of young and healthy people dying. While it may be impossible to attribute deaths entirely to the vaccinatio

Did Mother Teresa trivialise poverty? 'You are suffering, that means Jesus is kissing you'

By Harsh Thakor*  The world commemorated the 25th death anniversary of Mother Teresa on September 5. Whatever her flaws, she rendered service to humanity in regions almost untranscended, resembling the relentless spirit of the waves of an ocean. Irrespective of community or religion, she offered her service. Even those not drawn by sainthood revere the role of Mother Teresa. For 68 years, she had worked selflessly and tirelessly in India and elsewhere in the world, taught the destitute, healed the sick, fed and clothed the poor, cared for abandoned children, housed lepers and those afflicted with HIV/AIDS and offered dignity in death to desolate persons abandoned by family and society. Mother Teresa was born in Skopje in 1910 to an Albanian family as Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu. She became wedded to religious vows at an early age and moved to India to join the missionary work of the Catholic Church. Heartshaken by the misery faced by the Indian masses, in 1950 she set up her own

Pleading reparations from British? Will Brahminical elite do it for Dalits, Adivasis?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Queen Elizabeth II, the longest serving monarch of the British empire, died on September 8th at the age of 96, and since then the crazy 24x7 channels, including BBC and CNN, have been minutely reporting every event related to her death. The funeral will take place on September 19th, but till then people will watch various events and engagements of the royal family, particularly the new King Charles III and his consort. The Queen ruled for over 70 years, and hence one can understand the feeling of loss to a nation which ruled a large part of the world till the middle of the last century. India too declared a one-day national mourning on September 11th. World leaders are expected to join the funeral procession on September 19th, and the London police is expecting massive gathering of people and leaders on that day. The question as to why the United Kingdom, despite being a robust democracy, is still hanging on to monarchy has been widely discussed. The question b

Tracing roots of Hindutva Zionism: cannon fodder for 'warped' nationalist pretensions

By Shamsul Islam*  Those who believe in a world free of hegemonic ethno-nationalism, racism, religious bigotry and hatred have rightly taken note of Zionism and its ally Christian Zionism, major perpetrators of ethnic cleansing of ‘Others’. However, the civilized world with its core belief in multi-culturalism and peaceful co-existence is oblivious to a no less dangerous threat to the present human civilization: the Hindutva Zionism. As the term reads it is part of the Hindutva world-view which stands for an exclusive Hindu India minus Muslims and Christians. The other religions like Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism will have no independent status but treated as part of Hinduism. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS; National Volunteer Organization) is the most prominent flag-bearer of the Hindutva politics whose cadres presently rule India, the largest democracy in the world. RSS was founded by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (1889-1940) in 1925 who was disillusioned with the Indian freedom st

Regional parties, anti-Congress progressives, civil society groups 'joining' Bharat Jodo

By Harshavardhan Purandare, Sandeep Pandey*  The Congress party declared Bharat Chhodo (Quit India) movement against the British regime in 1942. The Congress party has now launched a movement Bharat Jodo (Connecting and Uniting India) against the Modi regime in 2022. Indian people have had a journey of 80 years since Mahatma Gandhi gave that Quit India call to the British and we have to agree that we stand most divided in our modern history when Rahul Gandhi is giving this Bharat Jodo call to the nation. And back then, Congress was a thriving idealistic political movement against the British rulers and now it is an ever weakening political organization electorally defeated several times. However, it is India at stake, not just the Congress party. That is why so many regional political parties, civil society organizations, traditional anti-Congress progressive forces like socialists and communists, intellectuals and civil servants have declared their support and are proactively partici

Shocking? No Covid vaccine trials conducted on pregnant, lactating women: RTI reply

By Rosamma Thomas*  A Right to Information applicant who sought details of safety trials conducted in India on pregnant and lactating women for three Covid vaccines in use in India – Covishield, Covaxin and ZyCov-D -- was shocked to learn from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) that Serum Institute, manufacturer of Covishield, and Cadila Healthcare, manufacturer of the ZyCov-D vaccine, had not sought permission for such trials.  Bharat Biotech, manufacturer of Covaxin, had sought permission for trial on pregnant women and later withdrawn its application. This response , provided after the applicant was initially unsatisfied with the response and went in appeal, is from the joint drugs controller, CDSCO. It was dated September 13, 2022. One researcher closely following the vaccine rollout, however, is of the opinion that the lack of a trial on pregnant and lactating women is a blessing; potential trial participants and their unborn babies thus escaped harm. Aruna Ro

Grave error? Scholar blames ex-Gujarat babu for anti-Christian riots 'citing fake report'

By Rajiv Shah  A few days back, I received a message from one of the finest former Gujarat government bureaucrats, PG Ramrakhiani, a 1964 batch IAS official, who retired in November 2000. I would often interact with him in 1997-99, even later, after I was sent to Gandhinagar as a Times of India man to cover Sachivalaya. Those were turbulent times. Shankarsinh Vaghela was the Gujarat chief minister, under attack from two sides – from the BJP, which he had left to form a separate breakaway party, Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP), one one hand, and the Congress, which was supporting him from outside, on the other. Ramrakhiani, in his message, referred to the book authored by Ghanshyam Shah and Jan Breman, both top-notch scholars who have known Gujarat in and out. Called “Gujarat, Cradle and Harbinger of Identity Politics: India’s Injurious Frame of Communalism”, I reviewed the book in January 2022.  It claims that Muslims in Gujarat have been turned into “new untouchables”, thanks to the Hin

Excess to cheetah in Kuno to increase 'woes' of local people, 'disturb' wildlife balance

Bharat Dogra*  The release of eight cheetahs into the Kuno National Park ( Madhya Pradesh) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17, although accompanied by a media blitz, has raised several questions. The animals were flown from Namibia to Gwalior and from there they were taken to the release site in a helicopter. Official sources have stated that this is the first time a large carnivorous species has been moved across continents for establishing a new population. This first release will be followed by others under this project. However, precisely for this reason, it is important to be cautious because if such translocations have been generally avoided in the past, there may have been reasons for this and at the same time we do not have much learning experiences from the past. The Cheetah became extinct in India in 1952, although this very fast moving animal is still remembered in the folklore of many areas. Hence the first impulse is to say that trying to introduce and revive

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

'Military diplomacy': US praises Bangladesh Army for leadership role in UN operations

By Kamal Uddin Mazumder* As the Indo-Pacific region represents the world’s economic and strategic center of gravity, the Indian Ocean today is becoming the centerpiece of all geo-strategic play. Cooperation in the region is crucial to implementing the international community’s global agenda, including achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Major powers like the US have enhanced and deepened their strategic engagement and leadership roles with countries in the region. The Indo-Pacific Army Management Seminar, or IPAMS, is a U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) initiated conference that is aimed at facilitating and enhancing interactions among the armies of the Indo-Pacific region. This year's 46th Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS)-2022, co-hosted by the Bangladesh Army and US Army Pacific (USARPAC), concluded in Dhaka. The objective of IPAMS is to promote peace and stability in the region through mutual understanding, dialogue, and friendship. It is the largest confer