Skip to main content

CAA-NPR-NRC: Vengeful state repression, esp in BJP-ruled states, 'deeply' concerning

Azim Premji University students' protest against CAA, NRC
Counterview Desk
Faculty, post doctoral researchers and members of the Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, in a statement against allegedly undemocratic practices in the wake of "vengeful" state repression against peaceful protestors, have asked the Government of India (GoI) to set up an independent body to impartially look into recent cases of campus violence.
Signing as concerned people of India and in individual capacities to express their distress over recent events over the past few months, they also urged the GoI to repeal the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and not implement the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Text:

We, the undersigned faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and members at Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, are writing this letter as concerned people of India to express our distress over the recent events in our country over the past few months. We write this letter in our individual capacities. The views do not reflect the views of the University.
The passage of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Population Register (NPR) and a possible countrywide National Register of Citizens (NRC) has resulted in peaceful protests across the country. While 19 lakh people were left out of the NRC process in Assam, 29 people have already died  in the Detention Centres in Assam.
The CAA is in direct violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution, is patently divisive on communal lines and is spreading fear among several communities. The poor, who are also document-poor, especially women, are likely to be the most affected if a nationwide NPR-NRC is rolled out.
The vengeful state repression that these protests were met with, especially in BJP-ruled states, is deeply concerning. The brutal attacks by the Uttar Pradesh (UP) police on innocent protestors, and their usage of stun grenades in Aligarh is reprehensible. Nineteen people have died and at least 1200 people have been arrested in UP.
In Mangalore, not only did the police use teargas inside a hospital, they also killed two people. The Delhi police has also used tear gas on students in the Jamia Millia Islamia library. Apart from these universities, students and teachers from other institutions (e.g., IIM-Ahmedabad, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru) have had to face intimidation for practising their constitutional right to dissent peacefully.
The sedition charges against students of Mysuru University for merely holding a placard saying ‘Free Kashmir’ presents another grim picture of the complete breakdown of basic freedoms in India.
We appeal to the Government of India (GoI) to set up an independent body to impartially look into cases of campus violence that are being projected as ‘clashes’. We urge the GoI to repeal the CAA, and pledge not to implement the NPR-NRC, which have caused immense fear among minority communities and the poor across the country.
The undemocratic manner in which the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has dealt with the fee hike protests in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is also horrifying. The attack by masked goons in JNU on January 5, 2020, as various news reports show, was abetted by both the Delhi police and the JNU administration.
We also urge the GoI to listen to the students of JNU who are demanding the resignation of their Vice Chancellor, who has failed to protect his students and has lost all moral authority. None of these events can be understood in isolation.
The ongoing internet blockade in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is a clear violation of the fundamental rights of the people of J&K. Further, according to a report of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, businesses in the Kashmir Valley alone have incurred a loss of Rs 18,000 crore since August 5, 2019 and nearly 5 lakh people have lost employment.
Moreover, about 3.5 to 5 lakh migrant labourers from other parts of India had to leave the Kashmir valley immediately after August 5th 2019. The situation will be much worse if we include the populations of Jammu and Ladakh in the calculation.
Their elected representatives, lawyers and civil society activists are still under arrest. With regards to J&K, we appeal to the GoI to withdraw the internet blockade immediately, restore democratic practices, and release all the political prisoners.
We condemn the highhandedness of the BJP-led government which is at odds with the rich heritage of democratic engagement and dissent in India. We urge the GoI to instead focus on developmental issues, improve government accountability and strengthen public institutions. We stand in solidarity with all those peaceful protestors who are exercising their constitutional right to dissent as it is “the safety valve of democracy.” 
---
*Click here for signatories

Comments

TRENDING

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".

Examples of support to Hindu temples, scriptures, saints by 'Muslim' rulers galore

Siya Ram coin issued by Akbar By Bharat Dogra* At a time when the country as well as the world are passing through very difficult times leading to more urgent need for strengthening national unity for meeting several big challenges ahead, unfortunately disputes relating to religious places have been allowed to raise their ugly head once again. It is well-realized by now by many people that it is not historical facts but narrow considerations of political gain and spreading of fanatic ideas of intolerance which are behind such mischief, but due to the increasing threat of mob violence and patronage available at higher levels to groups spreading intolerance many people are reluctant to openly and fearlessly express their views. Hence there is urgent need for broad-based peace committees with wider social support to spread the message of communal harmony and to appeal against the dangers of spreading false messages regarding places of worship which can ultimate

Barefoot women solar engineers join farmers, 'rediscover' benefits of biodiversity

Leela Devi, Monica By Bharat Dogra*  At a time of increasing concern over climate change, contributions of several women, farmers and innovators have given reason for increasing hope in mitigation as well as adaptation work in villages of India. When Leela Devi was married in Tilonia village (Ajmer district of Rajasthan), she had not heard of solar energy. But making use of the existence of solar centre of the Barefoot College (BC) near her new home, she learnt adequate skills within a year to set up rural solar units and assemble solar lanterns. Later as India’s External Affairs Ministry teamed up with BC to start an international program for training women in rural solar energy systems, Leela teamed up with other friends from BC to form a team of trainers. A training programme has been designed for training women as barefoot solar engineers. When I visited the Tilonia campus (before the training program was temporarily discontinued due to COVID) , a group of women (several of them Gr

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Himalayan tragedy: Labour laws for migrant workers violated at Ramganga dam site

By Bharat Dogra* The extremely tragic death of 10 workers at a tunnel construction site in Ramban on Jammu-Srinagar highway has again drawn attention to the serious hazards faced by workers employed in highways and dams in Himalayan region, several of them in very remote areas. These workers were trapped after a landslide hit the under-construction tunnel on May 19, followed later by one more landslide. Apart from these deaths, the remaining workers suffered injuries. While overall conditions at many such construction sites are known to be hazardous, according to preliminary reports the risks here increased due to sub-contracts which resulted in work being handled by those who did not have much experience or knowledge of such hazardous conditions. Sub-contracting is a common practice in such work and the principal employer gets away with less legal liability for hazardous conditions. Workers face more risks under this system and their rights are adversely affected. This

Why there's strong likelihood India may resurrect its presence in Afghan capital

By Anand K Sahay* Since India evacuated its mission in Afghanistan once the Taliban re-took Kabul last August practically under American aegis, following what came to be called the Taliban’s Doha “negotiations” with the US, New Delhi is evidently doing a re-think. It is considered likely that an Indian representation will soon be restored in Kabul, even if this will be small and not at the level of ambassador. This is reflective of realistic thinking. Of course, there can be no question at present of according recognition to the Taliban regime. That is likely to happen when a broad consensus amongst the leading powers emerges. Currently the Taliban government is not helping its own cause of gaining world recognition- which will help it access overseas funds at a time when the country is in dire straits- by imposing severe restrictions on women and girls in serious violation of human rights. More basic is the issue that the Taliban regime is not considered r

Dalit scholar's comment on Lord Shiva 'harming' Muslims, 'damaging' secular cause

Shahid Siddiqui, Bobby Naqvi By Our Representative   Bobby Naqvi, who is with the "Gulf News", and is a well-known name among Muslim intellectuals, strongly objecting to the social media post of Prof Ratan Lal, has said that "a big reason for majoritarian hatred against Muslims is irresponsible remarks by people like Prof Ratan Lal of Delhi University." In a Facebook comment , which has attracted paise, among others, from journaliat-politician Shahid Siddiqui, Naqvi said, "Their commentary on Hinduism and icons of Hinduism (while angering religious and liberal Hindus alike) also triggers a massive backlash against Muslims. When the likes of Prof Lal criticize Hinduism on social media, Hindus bring Islam and Islamic practices and ask 'what about this' or 'what about that'." Naqvi insists, "Muslims (without their fault) and Islam get caught in this crossfire between the so called Hindu liberal class and the religious Hindus. And the ult

Message to 'high caste' attackers? Dalit leader's daughter rides elephant in wedding march

By Our Representative  In what has been termed as “jumbo celebration”, a Gujarat Dalit rights leader belonging to Saurashtra region ensured that his daughter rides an elephant as part of wedding celebrations which took place in Vadhwan town of Surendranagar district. Natubhai Parmar, who shot into prominence for organising a unique protest against the notorious Una flogging incident in 2016, in which five Dalit boys were flogged as they allegedly slaughtered a cow. Belonging to the Rohit community, whose traditionally live by skinning dead cows, in 2016, Parmar reached Surendranagar district collector’s office with vehicles full of carcasses of cows asking him to organise them disposal of, declaring, his community had decided not to continue with the caste occupation, as it had been termed cow slaughter by saffron vigilantes. The decision to make his daughter ride the elephant, which he brought to Ahmedabad, was to send a message to members of the dominant castes, whose aggressive atta

Govt of India 'ignores' GMO regulation, 'overlooks' Constitutional process

Counterview Desk Dr Narasimha Reddy Donthi, independent public policy expert, in a letter to Nareshpal Gangwar, additional secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), New Delhi, has expressed “seriously concern” that a recent office memorandum (OM) has sought to exempt certain types of gene-edited plants from the country's genetically modified organism  (GMO) regulations, without any reason or basis or representation. Dr Reddy regretted, “Such a serious decision, with an impact scale of unimaginable proportions, in terms of time and ecology, is being pushed through an ordinary office memorandum”, insisting, “This is circumvention of the processes enshrined in Indian Constitution, which has defined democratic participation in matters of critical importance.” Stating that the exemption from regulation is a policy decision and has legal implications, he demanded immediate withdrawal the OM, insisting, the government should take a "strong stand again

This varsity succumbed to extra-academic mobocracy, 'ignored' Hindutva archives

By Shamsul Islam* Open letter to Sharda University vice-chancellor Sub: Discarding a Question on Linkages of Hindutva with Nazism/Fascism is blatant Academic Dishonesty! Dear Professor Sibaram Khara Saheb, Namaskaar! According to your esteemed University’s portal: “The name of University, 'Sharda' is synonymous to 'Goddess of knowledge and learning-Saraswati'. She is identified with 'veena', an Indian musical instrument and the ‘lotus’, where she resides. The lotus in our logo symbolizes the seat of learning that the University is created for.  "Variety of colours signify the variety of disciplines the university offers and the overlap between petals creating new colours demonstrate the ethos of collaboration between students and teachers of different programme, nationality, creed and colour working towards creating new knowledge…the University's cherished mission to provide education beyond boundaries and to facilitate the students and faculty to achie