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More than 100 academics demand release of Prof Shoma Sen

Statement Of Solidarity For Prof. Shoma Sen From The Academic Community

 

RELEASE PROFESSOR SHOMA SEN!

Statement of Solidarity from the Academic Community

On the Occasion of Prof. Sen’s 60th Birthday

We, the undersigned members of the academic community, are shocked and outraged at the arrest and detention of Professor Shoma Sen on 6 June 2018. The arrests of Prof Sen and four other activist intellectuals were carefully coordinated across states, and come in the wake of the assertion of Dalit, Adivasi, OBC, Muslim unity during the Bhima Koregaon Shaurya Din Prerna Abhiyan organised by the ‘Elgaar Parishad’ in Shaniwarwada in Pune on 31st December 2017. Prof Shoma Sen, who heads the Department of English at Nagpur University, has been charged under various stringent sections of the UAPA, and has been accused of, among other things, inciting the violence in January through her speeches; of doing so on behalf of the banned CPI (Maoist); of having links with, and harbouring fugitive members of this party at various times; and of fundraising for them. Following her arrest just six weeks before she was due to retire, Prof Sen was suspended from duty at Nagpur University, pending the result of her trial. Currently lodged in the Yerwada Central Jail in Pune under inhumane conditions, she is suffering from severe arthritis and other medical complications and continues to be denied basic facilities like a cot to sleep on and a commode.

Prof Shoma Sen is a respected intellectual and has been an active scholar in the fields of post-colonialism and women’s studies for several  decades. She has also been a long time Dalit and women’s rights  activist, and has advocated the rights of the underprivileged, the deprived, the poor and the powerless. She is a valued member of the  University community, and an important voice in the struggle to uphold human rights. She has travelled to deliver lectures and talks, and is a popular teacher, with a passionate interest in reading, researching and teaching literature and women’s studies. She is also a member of the collective Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS). A respected intellectual active in the fields of post-colonialism and women’s studies for over three decades, Prof Sen was to retire on August 1st, her 60th birthday, with the release of a festschrift in her honour, an edited volume of writings by several friends and colleagues. Instead, it seems, she will spend her 60th in a jail cell without basic medical care or friends and family. After decades of advocating for the rights of the marginalised, standing in solidarity with democratic voices in this country, and ardently fighting for the rights of women  everywhere, Shoma Sen is now one more voice of democracy imprisoned.

Prof Shoma Sen’s arrest is part of the State’s ongoing efforts to intimidate and silence people who have been outspoken or critical of its anti-people policies. It is a matter of considerable concern that dissenting intellectuals and activists are being targetted for arrest under the draconian UAPA. After all the University is a space for dialogue, the exploration and critique of ideas and society, and for creative action. If Shoma Sen was resisting inequalities, it is her constitutional right as a citizen and a crucial part of her job as an intellectual to do so. Dialogue and dissent must remain a crucial part of  any democratic society. The repression of these is a giant step toward fascism. Vindictive and excessive state action is completely unacceptable in a democracy.

We condemn these arrests unequivocally and call for the immediate, unconditional release of Prof Sen and the others who were arrested with her. We demand that her suspension be revoked at once.

1.  A. Mangai (Dr. V. Padma), Associate Professor in English (Retd),
Stella Maris College, Chennai
2.  Abha Sur, Lecturer, Program in Women’s & Gender Studies,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139
3.  Abhijit Sen, Professor (Retd), Jawaharlal Nehru University
4.  Adiyta Nigam, Professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
5.  Amber Habib, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Shiv Nadar University
6.  Amit Bhaduri, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University
7.  Amrita Pande, Associate Professor, University of Cape Town, South Africa
8.  Anand Chakravarti, Retired Professor, Delhi University
9.  Anandhi S., Professor, Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai
10.  Angela Y. Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita, History of
Consciousness and Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa
Cruz
11.  Anirban Kar, Associate Professor, Delhi School of Economics,
Delhi University
12.  Aniruddha Das, Associate Professor, Dept of Neuroscience &
Zuckerman Institute, Columbia University, New York
13.  Anita Ghai, Ambedkar University, Delhi
14.  Anjali Monteiro, Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
15.  Anupama Potluri, Assistant Professor, University of Hyderabad
16.  Anuradha Banerji, Researcher, New Delhi
17.  Anushka Singh, Ambedkar University, Delhi
18.  Ashley Tellis, Associate Professor in English Literature and
Gender Studies, Independent Scholar
19.  Ashok Prasad, Associate Professor, Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, USA
20.  Atul Sood, Professor, Centre for the Study of Regional
Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
21.  Balmurli Natrajan, Professor, William Paterson University of New Jersey
22.  Bela Bhatia, Independent Researcher, Bastar, Chhattisgarh
23.  Bittu K., Associate Professor, Ashoka University
24.  Brinelle D’Souza, Faculty Member, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
25.  C.P. Chandrasekhar, Professor, Centre for Economic Studies &
Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University
26.  Carmel Christy K J, Assistant Professor, Kamla Nehru College,
Delhi University
27.  David Ludden, Professor and Chair, Department of History, New
York University
28.  Debjani Sengupta, IP College, Delhi University
29.  Deepika Tandon, Associate Professor, Department of English,
Miranda House, Delhi University
30.  Dolly Kikon, Lecturer, University of Melbourne
31.  Drago Župarić-Iljić, PhD, Researcher, Institute for Migration and
Ethnic Studies, Zagreb
32.  Elizabeth Abraham, Research Fellow, Inter University Centre For
Social Science Research, Mahatama Gandhi Universty, Kottayam
33.  G. Vijay, Member of Faculty, School of Economics, University of Hyderabad
34.  Geetam Tiwari, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
35.  Hari Sen, Associate Professor in History, Ramjas College,
University of Delhi
36.  Harjinder (Laltu) Singh, Professor, IIIT Hyderabad
37.  Himanshu, Phd Student, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
38.  Inderpal Grewal, Professor, Yale University
39.  Indira Vijaysimha, Associate Professor, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
40.  Indira C, Researcher, Public Health, Pune and Delhi
41.  J Devika, Professor, Center for Development Studies, Kerala
42.  Jayati Ghosh, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi
43.  K.P. Jayasankar, Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
44.  Karen Gabriel, Associate Professor, Dept of English, Director,
Centre for Gender, Culture and Social Processes, St. Stephen’s
College, Delhi University
45.  Karuna DW, Independent Researcher, Chennai
46.  Kavita Punjabi, Jadavpur University
47.  Kranti Saran, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Ashoka University
48.  Lata Singh, Centre for Women’s Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University
49.  Mamatha Karollil, Assistant Professor, Ambedkar University, Delhi
50.  Manpreet Kaur Kang, Professor of English, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi
51.  Manu Bhagavan, Professor of History and Human Rights, Hunter
College and the Graduate Center-The City University of New York
52.  Mary E. John, Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi
53.  Meena Alexander, Distinguished Professor of English, Hunter
College and the Graduate Center, CUNY
54.  Meena Gopal, Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
55.  Nalini Nayak, Associate Professor (Retd), Delhi University
56.  Nandini Sundar, Professor of Sociology, Delhi School of
Economics, Delhi University
57.  Nandini Manjrekar, Professor, TISS Mumbai
58.  Nandini Nayak, Assistant Professor, Ambedkar University, Delhi
59.  Nandita Narain, Associate Professor, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi
University (Former President, DUTA and FEDCUTA)
60.  Navjeevan Singh, Retired Director, Professor of Pathology,
University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi University
61.  Navsharan Singh, Senior Researcher, Delhi
62.  Neeraj Malik, Retired Professor, Delhi University
63.  Nisha Biswas, Scientist, CSIR
64.  Niti Saxena, Independent Researcher, Lucknow
65.  Nivedita Menon, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehri University, New Delhi
66.  Padmaja Shaw, Retd Professor, Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad
67.  Panchali Ray, Assistant Professor, School of Women’s Studies,
Jadavpur University
68.  Paula Chakravartty, Associate Professor , Department of Media,
Culture and Communication and the Gallatin School, New York University
69.  Prabhat Patnaik, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
70.  Pradeep Kumar Datta, Professor, Centre for Comparative Politics
and Political Theory, Jawaharlal Nehru University
71.  Probal Dasgupta, Professor, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata
72.  Queeny Pradhan, Professor, GGS Indraprastha University, Delhi
73.  R Robinson, Faculty Member, Indian Institute of Technology
74.  Rachana Johri, Professor, Ambedkar University, Delhi
75.  Radha Ramaswamy, Founder Trustee, Centre for Commuity Dialogue and Change, Bangalore
76.  Ragini Shah, Clinical Professor of Law, Suffolk University
77.  Rahul Govind, Assistant Professor, University of Delhi
78.  Rajeshwari Sunder Rajan, Professor, New York University
79.  Rajiv Jha, Associate Professor, Shri Ram College of Commerce,
University of Delhi
80.  Rajni Palriwala, Professor of Sociology, Delhi School of
Economics, Delhi University
81.  Rakesh Ranjan, Assistant Professor, Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi
82.  Ranjana Padhi, Independent Researcher, Odisha
83.  Rina Ramdev, Associate Professor, Department of English, Sri
Venkateswara College, Delhi University
84.  Rita Kothari, Professor (English), Ashoka University
85.  Rochelle Pinto, Independent Researcher
86.  Ruchi Chaturvedi, Senior Lecturer, University of Cape Town
87.  Rupal Oza, Associate Professor, The Department of Women and
Gender Studies, Hunter College, CUNY, New York
88.  S. Durga Bhavani, Associate Professor, School of Computer and
Info Sciences, University of Hyderabad
89.  Sabeena Gadihoke, Professor, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
90.  Sadhna Saxena, Professor, Delhi University
91.  Sadhna Arya, Associate Professor, Satywati College, University of Delhi
92.  Sandeep Kumar Pattnaik, Researcher, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
93.  Sangeeta Luthra Sharma, Associate Professor, Department of
History, St. Stephens College, Delhi University
94.  Sanghamitra Misra, Assistant Professor, University of Delh
95.  Sanjay Palshikar, Professor, University of Hyderabad
96.  Sanjay (Xonxoi) Barbora, Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
97.  Sasha Karma Yangchen, Assistant Professor of English, University of Delhi
98.  Satish Kolluri, Associate Professor, Pace University, New York
99.  Satish Deshpande, Department of Sociology, Delhi University
100.  Shefali Chandra, Associate Professor of History, Washington
University in St. Louis
101.  Shirin M. Rai, Phd, FAcSS, Professor,, Department of Politics
and International Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry
102.  Shobha R, Law Student, Sheshadripuram Law College, Karnataka
State Law University
103.  Shobha Ghosh, Professor, Unversity of Mumbai
104.  Soniya Munshi, Assistant Professor, City University of New York
105.  Sujata Patel, Professor and National Fellow, Institute of
Advanced Study, Shimla
106.  Sujatha Surepally, Professor, Dept of Sociology, Satavahana University
107.  Sumit Sarkar, Retired Professor of History, Delhi University
108.  Sunanda Sen, Retired Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi
109.  Susie Tharu, Professor (Retd.), English and Foreign Languages
University, Hyderabad
110.  Svati Shah, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts
111.  T M Thomas, Associate Professor (Retd), Deshbandhu College,
University of Delhi
112.  T. Sobha Rani, Associate Professor, University of Hyderabad
113.  Tanika Sarkar, Retired Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru
University, New Delhi
114.  Tulsi Srinivasan, Assistant Professor, Ashoka University
115.  Ujjwal Kumar Singh, Professor, Department of Political Science,
University of Delhi
116.  Uma Chakravarti, Retired Professor, Delhi University
117.  Utsa Patnaik, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi
118.  V. Geetha, Feminist Historian
119.  Vaibhav Vaish, INSPIRE Faculty Fellow, Indian Statistical
Institute, Bangalore Centre
120.  Vanessa Chishti, Assistant Professor, Jindal Law School
121.  Vikas Bajpai, Assistant Professor, Centre for Social Medicine
and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
122.  Vilas Ghogre, Masters student, University of Hyderabad
123.  Virginia Saldanha, Theologian, Indian Christian Womens’ Movement
124.  Zoya Hasan, Professor (Retd.), Jawaharlal Nehru University

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Comments (2)

  1. K SHESHU BABU

    The space for dialogue is shrinking by every passing day. This is not good for a healthy democracy

  2. K SHESHU BABU

    The activist detained should be released

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