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Chomsky, int'l academicians stand with JNU students

Chomsky, intl academicians stand with JNU students

New Delhi: World-renowned economist and philosopher Noam Chomsky along with more than 2000 international academicians came out in solidarity with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Thursday.

Taking out a statement professors and academics from universities such as Harvard University, University of Arizona, Oxford University, Cambridge University among others said, "The recent attacks by politically motivated hoodlums on the students and faculty of India's Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, constitute one of the most egregious examples of violence, repression, and mob impunity directed against Indian universities since 1947, the year of Indian independence. It violates every norm of democracy, of academic freedom, of the protection of universities from arbitrary state power, and of the duty of university administrators to protect their students and faculty."

The universities stated that JNU's Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar has lost all national and international credibility.

"The violence against members of the JNU community should have provoked a massive effort by the senior administration to protect them and to ensure their well-being. This was not done, and this dereliction of duty is part of the systematic hostility of the Vice-Chancellor and his administration towards all forms of peaceful protest, democratic dissent and secular debate at and around JNU."

Other universities included in the list are Columbia University, Cornell University, Brown University, University of London, Yale University among others.

The academics critized Kumar and called him 'unfit to be VC.' "He has therefore doubly failed the institution he is supposed to be leading and added credence to the allegation of Administrative connivance in the targeting of teachers and students. Professor M. Jagadesh Kumar is clearly therefore unfit to be the Vice Chancellor of a premier institution of higher learning," he said.

JNUTA writes to MHRD

Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Association (JNUTA) on Thursday wrote an open letter to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) staTing that they are highly intrigued by the position expressed by Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal's recent statements.

"Your indication is presumably towards the withdrawal of the utility and service charges that were levied on the students by the JNU administration. Even if one accepts that this meets the basic demand of the students, the leap from that to questioning the legitimacy of the call for the VC's removal is surprising. Particularly shocking is the fact that you chose to ignore in the process the horrific violence that took place in JNU on 5th January 2020 under the charge of the VC," said a statement by JNUTA.

It has been 18 days since JNU students and teachers witnessed violence inside the campus, and where no arrests have been made so far. Meanwhile, JNUTA stated that the utility and service charges will not be levied was issued by the administration itself.

"The said Circular was thus issued almost two and a half months after the students' agitation began and a full four weeks after the record of discussions was released to the Press by the MHRD on 12 December 2019," said JNUTA.

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