JNU Row: IIT B faculty issues letter in support of JNU students

Apr 02, 2016, 12:05 IST | Pallavi Smart

Amid the entire controversy, there is huge support pouring in for students protesting at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

In a new development, some faculty members at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) have issued a letter in solidarity. The letter is issued on an online forum signed by several professors from the premier institutions. The letter, however, starts with a cautious sentence stating that the statement has been issued in individual capacities and does not represent Institutions’ opinion.

The letter which has been signed by around 60 faculty members from the Powai institute states, “We, the undersigned, members of the faculty at IIT Bombay, are deeply concerned with the recent events that have undermined the autonomy of institutions of higher education in this country. We believe that these institutions are spaces of critical thinking and expression. Matters of contention that might arise in the conduct of intellectual and social engagements need to be addressed democratically and rationally. These methods in turn should be within the purview of institutional procedures that are responsible and accountable.”

It further states, “The state cannot dictate on the many meanings of what it is to be ‘Indian’ or mandate the meaning of ‘nationalism’. Rather, the state should be the one that makes sure that multiple ways of imagining one’s relationship with the nation are allowed to flourish especially when it might contradict dominant ways of thinking. In this context, we condemn the overreach of the state in the recent incidents in a number of institutions and the attempts of the Hindu Right to stifle dissent and suppress differences.”

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