Saturday, June 14, 2008

Prof. Veena Das: a note

Dear Sir/ Madam

I am enclosing a statement signed by One hundred and seventy academics, writers, film makers, journalists, activists and other public intellectuals protesting strongly against the charges of criminal offense levied against Ashis Nandy, the renowned scholar of politics in India, for an article on the middle classes in Gujarat that he wrote. The signatories include highly respected professors from universities around the world including India, USA, UK, France, Japan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mexico, Serbia, Hungary, Sweden, Morocco, and Algeria. They are joined by writers , journalists, physicians, film-makers, activists, and other concerned citizens. The fact that this case has drawn such wide-spread protest from around the world is not only a sign of the high regard with which Ashis Nandy is held among his peers but also a sign of the growing anger among the intellectuals on the attacks on fundamental freedoms, harassment and intimidation of critics in Gujarat.
Signatories include renowned writers such as Pankaj Mishra, scholars such as Partha Chatterjee, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, William Connolly, Homi Bhabha, Gananath Obeyesekere, and lawyers and activist such as Flavia Agnes.
I hope that your newspaper will take the initiative to report on this important statement in support of democratic values.
Thank you very much for your consideration.

Veena Das
Krieger-Eisenhower Professor
Johns Hopkins

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