Noam Chomsky and Others Decry Indian PM Modi’s BJP Govt for Authoritarian Repression and Domination

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been “using its authority to silence any voice that challenges its domination and repression,” read the statement and strong condemnation signed by Noam Chomsky and an association of activists and scholars.

Police have arrested human rights activists including Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha and others in the Bhima Koregaon case.

“All these social activists have a long history of challenging state violence and human rights abuses through democratic and constitutional means,” the statement added that in India under Prime Minister Modi’s BJP government, attacks on Dalits, Muslims, Adivasis and other minorities have continued and intensified.

The statement:

Since Narendra Modi took the Prime Minister’s office in 2014, there has been an alarming clampdown on every form of political dissent in India.

In recent months, the Maharashtra police arrested several prominent human rights activists including Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha and others in the Bhima-Koregaon case.

In a similar way, several years ago, Delhi University Professor Saibaba and political activist Kobad Ghandy were imprisoned on fabricated charges. All these social activists have a long history of challenging state violence and human rights abuses through democratic and constitutional means. Through their civil and human rights activism, they have become the voice of the voiceless, be it socially and economically marginalized communities, indigenous people, religious minorities, and victims of all kinds of oppressions in society.

As public intellectuals, writers, and poets they took the responsibility to develop political awareness, critical thinking, and the notion of social justice among the general public.

In Modi’s India, appalling attacks on Dalits (the so-called untouchables), Adivasis (the aboriginals of India), rationalists, Muslims and other religious minorities, and rights activists including human rights organizations like Amnesty International have continued and intensified.

The Modi Government, as part of its long-term political agenda to establish the Hindu nation, has been using its authority to silence any voice that challenges its domination and repression. The government has been using legal and extra-legal methods to suppress democratic, rational, and secular forces. In recent years, the vigilante groups associated with the ruling party have killed several rationalists, journalists, and secularists.

Moreover, the ruling party, by using its “legal” methods, has coercively detained and imprisoned public activists who are defending the fundamental rights of the people. To put them in prison the state first used its friendly media outlets to propagate the lie that these civil rights activists were conspiring to overthrow the Indian state.

By concocting a series of conspiracy stories, both the Indian state and the Maharashtra Government worked together to put civil rights activists behind the bars under draconian colonial sedition law.

These human rights violations raise questions of the responsibility of the international community and the global civil society in times of crisis. When the Supreme Court is unable to check the abuse of constitutional power and the judicial system cannot deliver justice to victims of state violence, then what should citizens do?

With all these undemocratic and authoritarian activities, the Indian state appears to be bulldozing its own constitution that upholds fundamental democratic rights and secular values.

Using all kinds of oppressive methods, the Modi Government is creating fear and apprehension among the people who challenge its neoliberal economic policies and ultra-nationalist agenda. These are pressing questions that we, as civil/human rights activists, are very concerned about.

We sincerely appeal to all students, workers, educationalists, writers, social justice activists, and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to take a stand on these human rights violations and demand immediate release of all imprisoned rights activists.

As citizens and immigrants, your voices play an important role in shaping public opinion in the campaign to free these wrongfully imprisoned activists. Your support to democracy, justice and free speech will help boost the morale of rights activists and democratic struggles in India. We invite all of you to actively participate in this global campaign and extend your solidarity with democratic rights activists.

 

Signed by:

  1. Noam Chomsky, Emeritus Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  2. Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Laureate, Turkey
  3. Jonathan Cole, Former Provost of Columbia University, USA
  4. Judith Butler, Professor of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley
  5. Richard N. Zare, Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University, USA
  6. Robert Wade, Professor of International Development, London School of Economics, UK
  7. Akeel Bilgrami, Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University, USA
  8. Dimitri Papadimitriou, Director, Levy Institute, Bard College, USA
  9. Mriganka Sur, Professor of Neuroscience, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  10. Jan Breman, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Amsterdam University, The Netherlands,
  11. Sanat Kumar, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, USA
  12. Sheldon Pollock, Professor of Sanskrit, Columbia University, USA
  13. Barbara Harriss-White, Emerita Professor of Development Studies, Oxford University, UK
  14. Partha Chatterjee, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University, USA.
  15. N. V. Ramana, Professor of Physics, Princeton University, USA
  16. James Galbraith, Professor of Economics, University of Texas at Austin, USA
  17. Charles Taylor, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, McGill University, Canada
  18. Servaas Storm, Professor of Economics, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  19. Arjun Appadurai, Professor of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University, USA.
  20. Alicia Puyana Mutis, Professor of Economics, Flacso, Mexico.
  21. Robert Pollin, Professor of Economics, University of Amherst at Massachusetts, USA
  22. Juan Carlos Moreno Brid, Professor of Economics, Universidad National de Mexico, USA
  23. Gerald Epstein, Professor of Economics, University of Amherst at Massachusetts, USA
  24. Pasuk Phongpaichit, Emerita Professor, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok Thailand.
  25. Kanti Rai, leading leukemia specialist, USA
  26. Gauri Vishwanathan, Professor of English, Columbia University, USA
  27. Ha-Joon Chang, University of Cambridge, UK
  28. Jennie Traschen, Professor of Physics, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA
  29. David Kastor, Associate Head of Department of Physics, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA
  30. Ugo Pagano, Professor of Economics, Università degli Studi di Siena, Italy
  31. Mira Nair, Film Director
  32. Ozlem Onaran, Professor of Economics, University of Greenwich, UK
  33. Engelbert Stockhammer, Professor of Economics, University of Bristol, UK
  34. Gary Dymski, Professor of Applied Economics, University of Leeds, UK
  35. Arjun Jayadev, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA.
  36. Elissa Braunstein, Colorado State University, USA
  37. Alicia Giron, Universidad National de Mexico, USA
  38. Daniele Tori, University of Greenwich, UK
  39. Pablo Bortz, Universirty of San Martin, Beunos Aires, Argentina
  40. Daniela Gabor, UWE Bristol, UK
  41. Annina Kaltenbrunner, University of Leeds, UK
  42. J.George Waardenburg, Emeritus professor in development economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
  43. Fernando J. Cardim de Carvalho, Emeritus Professor, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
  44. Mario Tonveronachi, Università degli Studi di Siena, Italy
  45. Jan Kregel, Director of Research, Levy Institute, Bard College, USA
  46. Thomas Ferguson, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA
  47. Malcolm Sawyer, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Leeds, UK
  48. Thea Harvey-Barratt, Levy Institute, Bard College, USA
  49. Amrita Chhachhi, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague Netherlands
  50. Noemi Levy, Universidad National de Mexico, USA
  51. Ilhan Dogus, University of Hamburg, Germany
  52. Edward Fullbrook, Executive Director, World Economics Association
  53. Brendan Burchell, University of Cambridge, UK
  54. Vamsi Vakulabharanam, Professor of Economics, University of Amherst at Massachusetts, USA
  55. Sripad Motiram, University of Massachusetts at Bosto, USA
  56. Stefano Zambelli, Universita di Trento, Italy
  57. Andrew B. Tylecote, Emeritus Professor, University of Sheffield, UK
  58. Jing Cai, University of Aberdeen, Scotland
  59. Julian Wells, Kingston University, UK
  60. Mehmet Kerem Coban, Lee Kuan Yew Institute of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
  61. Andres Lazzarini, University of San Martin, Argentina
  62. Radha Upadhyaya, University of Nairobi, Kenya
  63. Riccardo Bellofiors, Universita di Bergamo, Italy
  64. Carolina Alves, University of London
  65. Pritam Singh, Oxford Brookes University, UK
  66. Stephanie Seguino, University of Vermont, USA
  67. Nicolas Pons-Vignon, EHSS, Paris
  68. Sergio Cesarotto, Universita di Siena, Italy
  69. Tomas Rotta, University of Greenwich, UK
  70. Robin Blackburn, Cullman Fellow, New York Public Library
  71. David Freedberg, Director, Warburg Institute, University of London
  72. Mario Seccareccia, University of Ottowa, Canada
  73. Jens Lerche, University of London, UK
  74. Kevin Gallagher, Boston University, USA
  75. Maria Cristina Marcuzzo, Università di Roma “La Sapienza”, Italy
  76. Pascal Petit, University of Sorbonne, Paris France
  77. Deepankar Basu, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA.
  78. María Cecilia Ainciburu, Università degli Studi di Siena, Italy
  79. Eugenia Correa, Universidad Nacional de Mexico, Mexico City
  80. Wendy Olsen, Professor of Socio-Economics, University of Manchester, UK
  81. Radhika Balakrishnan, Rutgers University, USA
  82. Eduardo Strachman, Sao Paulo State University, Brazil
  83. Wesley Colin Marshall, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Iztapalapa, Mexico
  84. Trevor Evans, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany
  85. Geoffrey C. Harcourt, University of New South Wales, Australia
  86. Terrence McDonough, National University of Ireland, Galway
  87. Rod O’Donnell, University of Sydney, Australia
  88. David Bromwich, Professor of English, Yale University, USA
  89. Alfredo Saad Filho, SOAS, University of London, UK
  90. Victoria Chick, Professor Emerita, University College London, UK.
  91. Makoto Itoh, Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo, Japan
  92. Nobuharu Yokokawa, Musashi University, Tokyo, Japan
  93. Giovanni Vaggi, University of Pisa, Italy
  94. Terence J, Byres, Professor Emeritus, University of London, UK
  95. C.W.M. Naastepad, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  96. Matilde Adducci, University of Turin, Italy
  97. Michael Landesmann, University of Vienna, Austria
  98. Heinz D. Kurz, University of Graz, Austria.
  99. Pascal Petit, University of Paris 13, France.
  100. Alessandro Roncaglia, Universita La Sapienza, Rome Italy
  101. Daniela Venanzi, Universita Roma 3, Italy
  102. Rune Skarstein, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  103. Josef Poeschl, Vienna, Austria
  104. Lionello Punzo, Universita di Siena, Italy
  105. Issa Shivji, Director, Nyerere Resource Centre, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  106. Terry McKinley, SOAS, University of London, UK
  107. John S. Saul, Professor Emeritus, York University, Canada
  108. Mehmet Ugur, University of Greenwich, UK
  109. Rachel Kurian, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  110. Matias Vernengo, Bucknell University, USA
  111. Andrea Ginzburg, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
  112. Mahmood Mamdani, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  113. Vijay Prashad, Trinity College, USA
  114. Elmar Altvater, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany
  115. Carlo D’Ippoliti, La Sapienza University of Rome
  116. Francesca Bettio, Universita degli Studi di Siena, Italy
  117. Carlo Panico, Universita Federico II, Naples, Italy
  118. John Bellamy Foster, University of Oregon, USA
  119. Amitava Krishna Dutt, University of Notre Dame, USA
  120. Antonio Yúnez-Naude, El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico
  121. Jonathan W. Moses, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trndheim, Norway
  122. Peter Lawrence, Keele University, UK
  123. Gilad Isaacs, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  124. Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick, Birkbeck College, UK
  125. Greg Albo, York University, Canada
  126. Grazia Ietto-Gillies, Emeritus Professor, London South Bank University, UK
  127. Antonella Palumbo, Roma Tre University, Italy
  128. Hannes Lacher, York University, Toronto, Canada
  129. Andrea Salanti, University of Bergamo, Italy
  130. Antonella Stirati, Università Roma Tre, Rome, Italy
  131. Deborah Fahy Bryceson, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  132. Tore Linné Eriksen, Oslo University College of Applied Sciences, Norway
  133. Roberto Ciccone, Universita Roma Tre, Italy

 

 

Photo: “10th BRICS Summit” by GovernmentZA is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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