08 Januar 2020

European Solidarity Statement with Academics and Students in India

We are students, scholars, and academics at European universities who unequivocally condemn the violent attacks on student and faculty members of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi that took place on 5th January 2020. We see the attacks as part of the larger pattern of systematic violence that is being consistently inflicted on students across Indian universities for the past month by the Indian police in collusion with far-right organisations. We are shocked by the proclivity of the Indian State to turn upon its own students, and by the failure of universities and other academic institutions to protect their members; the cases are too many to be all listed here, but along with JNU, this inhumane orchestration of violence has extended to Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University in Uttar Pradesh, and Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi.

Even as the students and faculty members of these institutions have been peacefully protesting against a new legal framework that seeks to complicate and possibly exclude Indian citizenship for Muslims, the Indian police have wantonly stormed, stoned, shot, hit, gassed, and injured participants of these peaceful interventions. Several reports by independent news sources and civil rights organisations have detailed the reckless and vicious violence that was unleashed on students at Jamia Millia Islamia, and subsequently also at Aligarh Muslim University on 15th December 2019 when the police used sticks and tear gas shells to injure peaceful protestors. On the night of 5th January, far-right political groups with ties to the current Indian government, vandalised the campus and severely injured students and teachers at JNU, who also could not get immediate and proper access to medical attention for their injuries. Gripped by fear of violence, many students are still reportedly locked in their hostel rooms without food and drinking water. The situation is compounded by the fact that many journalists who tried to cover the incident were hindered and assaulted.

Across European pasts and presents, we have seen the rise of fascist States and the erosion of democracy go hand-in-hand with the oppression of students and media. In the current global and European climate, we are also especially cognizant of the Islamophobic undertone which characterises the targeting of these particular universities that have a long history of championing the rights of the minoritised in South Asia.

Given the importance of universities for generating democratic discourse and contestation, we are deeply troubled by the undermining of these spaces by the Indian State. As academics, students, and humans, we assert our right of freedom of expression, right to dissent, debate and engage in democratic protest, and demand the same for our colleagues in India. We defend the intellectual autonomy of academic institutions and their ability to function fearlessly. Accordingly, we call upon the Indian government to:

(1) Immediately end police brutality against peacefully protesting students and all others protesting peacefully.
(2) Provide prompt medical aid to all the injured.
(3) Ensure media coverage of the situation is not hindered.
(4) Conduct fair and independent inquiries into the violence.
(5) Restore democratic, safe, and peaceful university life.

We stand in solidarity with our colleagues, students and faculty across Indian universities.

The original statement was published here. Please co-sign!

Signed (1/8/2020, 6:00 pm):

1. Smarika Lulz, Ph.D. Researcher, Humboldt University, Berlin

2. Medha Srivastava, PhD student, Humboldt Universität    

3. Katharina Wommelsdorff, PhD Candidate    

4. Nishant Shah, Vice President, ArtEZ University of the Arts, The Netherlands  

5. Philipp Dann, Professor, Humboldt University      

6. Zeenath Hasan, Senior Lecturer, Linnaeus University   

7. Rupsha Paul, Student at ISS(International Institute of Social Studies) 

8. Luca Brennecke, Student, Leuphana University Lüneburg     

9. Saanika Patnaik, Student, Leiden University   

10. Sheena MacRae, PhD Student – University of Hull   

11. Carin Rustema, Director @ArtEZ University of the Arts   

12. Jenneke Evers, PhD candidate, Leiden University   

13. Reetu Vishwakarma, Lawyer, Goethe University, Frankfurt   

14. Seda Gürses, TU Delft   

15. Jess Bier, Assistant Professor, Erasmus University 

16. Kalika Mehta, Doctoral Researcher, University of Hamburg   

17. Dr. Swastika Sanyal, Postdoctoral Researcher, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden    

18. Ashrita Prasad Kotha, Research and Teaching Associate, Vienna University of Economics and Business   

19. Maya Indira Ganesh, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

20. Anjana John, PhD Scholar, Central European University (CEU) 

21. Sunil Abraham, Endowed Professor, ArtEZ University of the Arts   

22. Emy Merin Joy, PhD Scholar, CEU, Budapest, Hungary   

23. Angela Daly, Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor), Strathclyde University Law School (Scotland)  

24. Hendrik Steppke, Humboldt University  

25. Thomas Dollmaier, Research Fellow, HU Berlin

26. Ritumbra Manuvie, Research Fellow, University of Groningen    

27. Rachit Agarwal, MS in Finance Class of 2020   

28. Rutuja Shinde, Student, CEU  

29. Kanishka Waghmare, PhD candidate, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam

30. Rachael Marshal, Student, University of Twente   

31. Gabriel Noll, Doctoral Researcher, Humboldt University, Berlin   

32. Devisha Poddar, Masters student at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary   

33. Milan Tahraoui, Ph.D. candidate Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne/FU Berlin   

34. Tatavarthi Mrudula, Master’s student at Vrije Universiteit   

35. Souloke Sen, PhD student  Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands   

36. Tobias Berger, Jun Prof. Political Science, Freie Universitaet Berlin

37. Sriram Govind, PhD Candidate, Vienna University of Economics and Business  

38. Sai Praveen Madireddi, PhD student CEU   

39. Sahil pawade, Student VU Amsterdam    

40. Jelena Achenbach, Junior Professor, Giessen University   

41. Maximilian Steinbeis, Chief Editor, Verfassungsblog

42. Yashjit Gangopadhyay, Master’s student – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam & Universiteit van Amsterdam

43. Inder kumar, Student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

44. Karen Gregory, Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

45. Nguyen Khanh Vu, Student

46. Vladimir Bogoeski, PhD Candidate, Hertie School 

47. Arijit Laik, PhD Candidate, VU Amsterdam        

48. Karthikeya Acharya, PhD, Design Provocateur, Aarhus University, Denmark 

49. Ksenija Hanacek, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Autonomous University of Barcelona   

50. Shreya Tewari, Masters student, London School of Economics 

51. Vivek kumar Shukla, Assistant Professor , Aarhus university , Denmark

52. Nadja Baumert, Student, HU Berlin

53. Stuti Gadodia, LL.M. Class of 2016, The Graduate Institute / University of Geneva

54. Sreyasi Nag Chowdhury, Doctoral Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Informatics   

55. Tonny Nowshin, Global Diaspora Organizer, 350.org   

56. Sukanya Deepak, Masters Student, KISD, TH Köln

57. Enes Kaya, PhD Student, Universität Kassel

58. Francis Mianzhi CAO, PhD researcher, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main

59. JeeHee Suh, Masters Student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

60. Palak Arora, Master Student, Stäedelshule Frankfurt

61. Meenakshi Nair And, PhD Student, Graduate Institute, Geneva

62. Sonali Dhanpal, PhD Scholar, Newcastle University

63. Sirin Knecht, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

64. Nina Schmidt, Postdoctoral researcher, Freie Universität Berlin

65. Sudhir Ambasana, Master student at Städelschule, Frankfurt

66. Alisha Suhag, Masters Student, University College London (UCL)

67. Jyotsna Chowdhury, LLM student (Class of 2015), University of Saarland

68. Ayush Pant, Associate Tutor, University of Warwick

69. Bhoomika Tiwari, MPP, Hertie School of Governance   

70. Donika Muji, Master‘s Student at Hertie School, Berlin   

71. Vlera Beqa, Student at Regensburg University, Germany   

72. Amran Abo Houf, MIA Student, Hertie School     

73. Iris van der Lugt, Master’s student, Hertie School   

74. Peter Noorlander, lawyer   

75. Syed Tanveer Ahmed, Masters student – Hertie School of Governance   

76. Anamika Iyer, Master’s student, Hertie

77. Mahima Shah Verma, Masters Student, Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany

78. Lukas Knüsel, Master’s Student (MPP)

79. Sofia Diogo Mateus, Masters Student, Hertie School of Governance

80. Megha Majoe, PhD Candidate University of Freiburg

81. Sailee Sakhalkar, PhD student, Charles University in Prague

82. Rishabh Malhotra, Student, LSE        

83. Brototi Roy, PhD Candidate, Autonomous University of Barcelona

84. Muskan Jain, Masters Student, LSE

85. Kanad Bagchi, Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

86. Shantanu Sanjiv Bhat, Student, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, United Kingdom

87. Florian Matthey-Prakash, PhD alumnus, Justus-Liebig University Gießen

88. Manjusha Nadgouda , Msc. Student TU Berlin

89. Ioannis Kampourakis, Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate Tel Aviv University/University of Oxford

90. Sujatro Ghosh, Research Scholar and Resident Artist at the Goethe Institute

91. Meghdut Sengupt, Masters in Computational Linguistics, University of Stuttgart

92. Prof. Dr. Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer,  Vice-Dean Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig

93. Ratan Sebastian, Masters Student, University of Edinburgh

94. Vinit Dharia, Staedelschule Architecture Class, Frankfurt, Germany 

95. Sudarsha Venkatachari, MSc Student, University of Southern Denmark

96. Angelo Jr Golia, Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law 

97. Julie Wetterslev, PhD Researcher, European University Institute, Department of Law

98. Rajat Rai Handa, German Chancellor Fellow, Humboldt Stiftung

99. Joris van Hoboken, Professor of Law, Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Senior Researcher, University of Amsterdam

100. Nahed Samour, Humboldt University Berlin

101. Kyara Klausmann, PhD researcher, Humboldt University

102. Amanda Haraldsson, PhD researcher, European University Institute

103. Melisa Ross, Doctoral Researcher, BGSS Humboldt Universitaet, Berlin, Germany

104. Noby Thomas Cyriac, PhD Candidate,University of Hamburg

105. Siddharth de Souza, PhD candidate , Humboldt University
106. Maja Hohmann, Bachelor Student, University of Hamburg    

107.Paul Friedl, PhD researcher, Humboldt-University Berlin    

108. Ezgi Guler, PhD researcher, European University Institute

109. Tasneem Balasinorwala, Berlin

110. Saraswati Bhushan, Student, Utrecht University

111. Mark Graham, Professor, University of Oxford

112. Luna Sabastian, Smuts Research Fellow, University of Cambridge

113. Chris Wilson, Lecturer, University of East Anglia

114. Leila Essa, Teaching Fellow, Trinity College Dublin

115. Amalie Muir, Bachelor student, Vrije University Amsterdam

116. Doriane Zerka, Lecturer, Queen Mary, University of London

117. Ayşe Polat, PhD Candidate, University of Cambridge

118. Saboura Naqshband, German Center for Migration Research

119. Trudi Tate, Fellow, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge

120. Swapnil Chaudhari, Independent consultant

121. Sinéad Murphy, Lecturer, King’s College London

122. Diya Gupta, Postdoctoral Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of English Studies, University of London

123. Razak Khan, Dr., Göttingen University

124. Anja Rekeszus, PhD, King’s College London

125. Lauren Wilks, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Edinburgh    

126. Lina Dencik, Reader, Cardiff University   

SUGGESTED CITATION  Students, scholars, and academics at European universities, : European Solidarity Statement with Academics and Students in India, VerfBlog, 2020/1/08, https://verfassungsblog.de/european-solidarity-statement-with-academics-and-students-in-india/.

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