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‘Shenanigans of Left-wing coterie’ worry academics

Sardar Patel University Vice-Chancellor Shirish Kulkarni. Photo: spuvvn.edu

Sardar Patel University Vice-Chancellor Shirish Kulkarni. Photo: spuvvn.edu  

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Over 200 academics, including Hari Singh Gour University Vice-Chancellor R.P. Tiwari, Central University of South Bihar Vice-Chancellor H.C.S. Rathore and Sardar Patel University Vice-Chancellor Shirish Kulkarni, write to Narendra Modi.

Over 200 academics wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, blaming a “small coterie of Left-wing activists” for the deteriorating academic environment in the country.

“We observe, with dismay, that in the name of student politics, a disruptive far-left agenda is being pursued. The recent turn of events on campuses, from JNU to Jamia and from AMU to Jadavpur, alerts us to the deteriorating academic environment due to the shenanigans of a small coterie of left-wing activists,” they said.

The signatories include Hari Singh Gour University Vice-Chancellor R.P. Tiwari, Central University of South Bihar Vice-Chancellor H.C.S. Rathore and Sardar Patel University Vice-Chancellor Shirish Kulkarni, official sources said.

The statement is being seen as part of the government’s efforts to mobilise support in the academia after it faced criticism from a section of the intelligentsia over protests at some universities over a host of issues, including the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, and the recent violence on the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University.

 

The statement said it had become difficult to organise public talks or speak independently owing to the “censorship imposed by the left-wing politics”. Strikes, dharnas and shut-downs over “maximalist demands” were common in Left strongholds, and personal targeting, public slandering and harassment for not conforming to the Left ideology were on the rise, the academics said.

The worst affected by this kind of politics were poor students and those from marginalised communities, the statement said. “They [these students] lose out on the opportunity to learn and build a better future for themselves. They also lose out on the freedom to articulate their own views and alternative politics. They find themselves constrained to conform to the majoritarian left politics. We appeal to all democratic forces to come together and stand for academic freedom, freedom of speech and plurality of thoughts,” it said.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 12:45:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/shenanigans-of-left-wing-coterie-worry-academics/article30551777.ece

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