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TISS head – Arun Ferreira’s Talk holds no scholarly value, bars event at institute WTFnews

TISS HEAD SAYS ARUN FERREIRA’S TALK HOLDS NO SCHOLARLY VALUE, BARS EVENT AT INSTITUTE

TISS head says Arun Ferreira’s talk holds no scholarly value, bars event at institute
The TISS director has said Ferreira (above) was not amenable to reason
Mumbai Mirror Bureau

Director accuses activist of being unreasonable; students discuss plan to launch protest readings.

The director of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Professor S Parsuraman, has said in an email to students that one of the reasons civil rights activist Arun Ferreira’s Wednesday book reading was cancelled was because it held no scholarly value. “The institute provides space for all voices and we have no issues with any persons as long as they also respect our space. Please be reminded that the institute would use its discretion on outsiders giving talk,” the mail avers.

Ferreira was due to read excerpts from his book “Colours of the Cage” in the TISS campus on Wednesday – the work describes the activist’s four and a half years in prison, awaiting trial in 11 cases linked to Naxalism. Ferreira was acquitted of these charges in 2014.

The author had charged on Wednesday that three police officers “from the intelligence department” had pressured the organisers into cancelling his book reading half an hour before it was due to start, a claim that was backed by a section of students.

Both TISS authorities and the police denied the allegation, instead maintaining that the reading was called off because the organisers had not secured required permissions.

Parsuraman’s mail clarifies that “there is no way the police would come into the campus without the authorization either of the Registrar or the Director”. He goes on to reiterate that campus security had requested students to reschedule the book reading. He also accuses Ferreira of not being “amenable to reason”, which observation Parsuraman makes following his “experience over the past 26 hours”, spent dealing with the author.

Following the director’s communication, a section of students took to Facebook to discuss the possibility of organising a reading of Ferreira’s book in protest. “We plan to read from his work and from the work of Tamil author Perumal Murugan who had to withdraw his books after threats from right-wing groups as a way of protesting the attacks on freedom of expression,” a student, who wished to remain anonymous, told Mumbai Mirror on Friday.

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/mumbai/others/TISS-head-says-Arun-Ferreiras-talk-holds-no-scholarly-value-bars-event-at-institute/articleshow/46239032.cms

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