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After writers , now sociologists join protest over Dadri Lynching , Murder of Scholars

In the wake of the ongoing protest by writers and artists over the government’s response to incidents of violence and intolerance, a group of sociologists have expressed their disquiet at the PM’s ‘late response’ and his failure to assert that the rule of law will be defended

#deathpenalty" data-image-description="<p>To,<br /> Shri <a class="zem_slink" title="Prakash Karat" href="" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Prakash Karat</a>,</p> <p><a class="zem_slink" title="General Secretary" href="" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">General Secretary</a>,</p> <p><a class="zem_slink" title="Communist Party of India (Marxist)" href=",77.2049722222&amp;spn=0.01,0.01&amp;q=28.6315555556,77.2049722222 (Communist%20Party%20of%20India%20%28Marxist%29)&amp;t=h" target="_blank" rel="geolocation">Communist Party of India (Marxist)</a></p> <p>Dear Comrade,</p> <p><a class="zem_slink" title="Afzal Guru" href="" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Afzal Guru</a> was hanged yesterday in utter secrecy, denied in his last moments the right to meet his wife and children one final time. Denied to him also was the ultimate judicial resort, due to every condemned convict after his/her mercy petition has been rejected.</p> <p>The entire legal proceedings against Afzal were shot through with contradictions, fabrications and travesties of legal procedure. The <a class="zem_slink" title="Supreme Court of the United States" href=",-77.0043444444&amp;spn=0.01,0.01&amp;q=38.8907083333,-77.0043444444 (Supreme%20Court%20of%20the%20United%20States)&amp;t=h" target="_blank" rel="geolocation">Supreme Court</a> bench that finally sentenced him to death did so to ‘appease the national conscience’ despite inadequate evidence of his role in the Parliament attack case.</p> <p>And yet this is what your colleague in the Polit Bureau <a class="zem_slink" title="Sitaram Yechury" href="" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Sitaram Yechury</a> had to say to the media on this issue, “I think, the law of the land with all its provisions has finally been completed as far as the Afzal Guru case and the attack on the <a class="zem_slink" title="Parliament of India" href="" target="_blank" rel="homepage">Indian Parliament</a> is concerned. The issue which had been lingering for the past 11 years has finally completed its due course.”</p> <p>‘Law of the land’ has ‘completed its due course’? Is this the official stand of the CPI(M) on the Afzal Guru case? Or is it just Com. Yechury trying to ‘appease the national conscience’ and joining the UPA in harnessing the ‘Hindu vote’?</p> <p>Surely you and your colleagues in the Polit Bureau have heard that Afzal was unrepresented from the time of his arrest till he made his alleged ‘confession? You may have also perhaps heard of the letter that Afzal wrote to the Judge pleading he had no faith in the lawyer appointed for him by the Court, asking to be represented by any from a list of four lawyers he named. The Court records show that two of these lawyers refused to represent him but there is no information whether the other two on the list were even ever asked.</p> <p>A lawyer, who had never met Afzal, admitted documents in court incriminating him. Or has your Polit Bureau been watching too many telecasts of his ‘confession’ – considered inadmissible in any court of law – as damning evidence of his guilt?</p> <p>But never mind. Lack of legal representation for your Party does not seem too major an obstacle in implementing the ‘due course of law’. When elections are looming on the horizon, and your Party’s mass base is dwindling, a little injustice – like the murder of an innocent man- does not matter of course.</p> <p>If the Congress is fast becoming the B Team of the communal <a class="zem_slink" title="Hindutva" href="" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Hindutva</a> brigade should the CPI (M) try to become the C <a class="zem_slink" title="Team" href="" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Team?</a> Has your Party learnt nothing from the defeats it has suffered due to similar unprincipled stands it has taken in the past? Are we being completely delusional in expecting a Party named with grand terms like ‘Communist’ and ‘<a class="zem_slink" title="Marxism" href="" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Marxist</a>’ to take a stand different from that of political formations taking the nation fast forward towards all out Fascism?</p> <p>Sincerely,</p> <p>Satya Sivaraman</p> <p>Manisha Sethi</p> <h6 class="zemanta-related-title" style="font-size:1em;">Related articles</h6> <ul class="zemanta-article-ul"> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li"><a href="" target="_blank">Press Release-Statement on execution of Afzal Guru</a> (</li> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li"><a href="" target="_blank">So much to say, yet words won’t come – Afzal Guru</a> (</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class="aligncenter wp-image-13390 size-large" src="" alt="socio2" width="750" height="512" />

Statement by Sociologists on the Need to Maintain Constitutional and Academic Freedoms

We, as sociologists and concerned citizens, feel extremely concerned about the lynching at Dadri, and the murders of scholars and thinkers like MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and others, and wish to register our strong protest.

We are not just shocked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s late response, but also by the implications of the victim-blaming statement he made. To say that ‘Hindus and Muslims should not fight each other but should fight poverty instead’ puts the onus for peace and fighting poverty entirely on civil society and communities and absolves the state of any responsibility for both. As Prime Minister, he should have asserted that the state would defend the rule of law.

In a country with some 4693 communities and over 415 living languages, each community is bound to have its own customs, including dietary choices. Individuals may also follow practices different from the ones followed by the majority of their community. Any attempt to impose a uniform belief or practice, on either individuals or communities, is antithetical to the freedom enshrined in the Constitution. It is the state’s responsibility to ensure this freedom.

Further, as scholars, we are extremely worried about the implications of these recent developments for our ability to study and write about different life ways, and to critically analyse society, including social phenomena like religion.

SIGNED (in alphabetical order)

Janaki Abraham, University of Delhi
Anuja Agrawal, University of Delhi
Yasmeen Arif, University of Delhi
Mahuya Bandyopadhyay, University of Delhi
Xonzoi Barbora, Tata Institute of Social Sciences– Guwahati

Amita Baviskar, Institute of Economic Growth
Pratiksha Baxi, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Jyothsna Belliappa, Azim Premji University
Anjali Bhatia, University of Delhi
Reema Bhatia, University of Delhi

Vasundhara Bhojvaid, University of Delhi
Anuj Bhuwania, South Asian University
Rita Brara, University of Delhi
Anand Chakravarti, rtd. University of Delhi
Roma Chatterji, University of Delhi
Ruchi Chaturvedi, University of Cape Town

Radhika Chopra, University of Delhi
Dia Da Costa, University of Alberta
Ajay Dandekar, Shiv Nadar University
Ankur Datta, South Asian University
Satish Deshpande, University of Delhi

Vincent Ekka, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Tanweer Fazal, Jamia Millia Islamia
Shalini Grover, Institute of Economic Growth
Radhika Gupta, Max Planck Institute, Göttingen
Chandan Gowda, Azim Premji University

Rajesh Kamble, University of Mumbai
Sasheej Hegde, University of Hyderabad
Rudolf C Heredia, Independent Researcher, Mumbai
Farhana Ibrahim, Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi
Surinder S. Jodhka, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Kalpana Kannabiran, Centre for Social Development

Ravinder Kaur, Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi
Sakshi Khurana, V. V. Giri National Labour Institute
Ravi Kumar, South Asian University
Satendra Kumar, Lucknow
C. Lakshmanan, Madras Institute of Development Studies

Amman Madan, Azim Premji University
T. N. Madan, Institute of Economic Growth
Nissim Mannathukkaren, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Nayanika Mathur, University of Cambridge
Deepak Mehta, Shiv Nadar University

Gayatri Menon, Azim Premji University
Arima Misra, Azim Premji University
Radhika Mongia, York University
Geetha Nambissan, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Balmurli Natarajan, William Paterson University

Tiplut Nongbri, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Rajni Palriwala, University of Delhi
Amrita Pande, University of Cape Town
Sujata Patel, University of Hyderabad
Tulsi Patel, University of Delhi

Shilpa Phadke, Tata Institute of Social Sciences- Mumbai
Purendra Prasad, University of Hyderabad
Meena Radhakrishna, formerly of Delhi University
Raka Ray, University of California at Berkeley
D. R. Sahu, University of Lucknow

Savyasaachi, Jamia Millia Islamia
Manisha Sethi, Jamia Millia Islamia
Hira Singh, York University
Alito Siquira, University of Goa
G. Srinivas, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Sanjay Srivastava, Institute of Economic Growth
V. Sujatha, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Nandini Sundar, University of Delhi
Ravi Sundaram, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
Renny Thomas, University of Delhi

Patricia Uberoi, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
Carol Upadhya, National Institute of Advanced Study
Divya Vaid, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Sudha Vasan, University of Delhi
A. R. Vasavi, Bangalore

Susan Visvanathan, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Anurekha Chari Wagh, University of Pune
Virginius Xaxa, Tata Institute of Social Sciences– Guwahati

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Comment (1)

  1. Sankara Narayanan

    Disgraceful people unable to tolerate Modi’s grand march. What were they doing when a Desh Bhakt Nathuram Godse was brutally killed by the Indian state for his patriotic service to the land? Where were they when Sita was hijacked by Ravana? Shame on you, paid sociologists!

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