Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Collective Reply to the Show-cause notice sent to Comrade Anirban

(It was decided by all organisations to collectively respond to the show-cause notice sent to Comrade Anirban by the Chief Proctor. This is the text of the same prepared by all the organisations. Those JNU students who want to endorse the response, please put in your name and centre/school in the comments. We will be submitting this to the proctor's office tomorrow after the protest)
 - umar khalid
Unite in defence of our democratic space of dissent, and against witch-hunting of individual activists!
For the crime of upholding freedom of expression and right to campus spaces, two activists of DSU - Comrade Anirban and Comrade Bharat, have been served notices by the JNU administration holding them guilty of violating official instructions and stating that disciplinary action will be taken against them. This is regarding the public meeting organised by DSU in February on Kashmir titled "The Undying Spirit of Kashmir: The Question of Self-Determination" addressed by Sayed A R GeelaniUzma Falak and Arif Ayaz Parrey. For those who remember, all attempts were made that night to stop the meeting - from cancelling the permission just hours before the meeting was to start, to sending security guards to prevent the meeting from starting and when all that failed the trusted foot soldiers of the state ABVP lumpens took over and unleashed massive violence on students. But what was also witnessed that night was an extremely impressive solidarity and unity of progressive forces who made the meeting a huge success and successfully resisted the assault on our democratic space of debate and dissent. Now after all these months, in the middle of vacations, after conducting a farce of an 'inquiry', the administration in its characteristic manner has started witch-hunting individual activists. At this juncture, when all across the country - whether in universities or outside - all dissent is being increasingly criminalized, let us once again unite in defense of our democratic space of dissent and targeting of activists!

s office tomorrow after the protest)To,
The Chief Proctor
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi - 110067

Subject : - Reply to the show-cause notice dated 5th June sent to one of our comrades

We are appalled at the way your office has conducted a farce in the name of an enquiry regarding the events that unfolded on 11th February when one of the student organizations DSU had organized a public talk on the question of Kashmir. You would by now be abreast of the events that unfolded on that day and the extremely arbitrary steps that were taken by the authorities to forcefully stop the meeting. You would also be knowing very well that ABVP lumpens had unleashed massive violence on the students and had attempted to attack the speakers that night, while the security was too busy trying to stop the meeting. Several of us over the course of the enquiry have given you details, video-graphic and photographic evidences of the same. But today, you have willfully chosen to be blind to all of that and have instead sent notices to those who had organized the meeting threatening them of disciplinary action.

Comrade Anirban who had booked the mess for the meeting that night has received a notice from your office dated the 5th June 2015. Amongst other things, the notice states that he has been found guilty in the proctorial enquiry of “bypassing official instructions of the Senior Warden, Tapti Hostel by organizing the public talk in Tapti Hostel Mess Hall on 11.2.2015 despite the cancellation of permission in this regard”. In this regard, we would like to state to you that the decision to go ahead with the meeting despite the cancellation of permission was not just the decision of Com. Anirban alone. Rather, all of us who were present in the meeting ensured that the meeting goes ahead as planned. The decision to ‘bypass official instructions’ that night came from our political conviction to resist any arbitrary move to attack our freedom of expression. We consider such actions as an infringement upon our right to freely debate and discuss any issue – a tradition which we have painstakingly established over the years in JNU, defended against administrative and right-wing assaults and which we will defend in the future too against any such move. We will not tolerate and allow any attempt to single out for targeting and punishment any individual, just because he might have booked the mess for the meeting.

We are also not surprised that you have chosen to send such a notice, about a matter that happened four months back, in the middle of the vacations. You might have felt that with most of the students not in the campus, you will be able to pass it off without any protest. But we would like to warn you that any action against any student who stood up in defense of our freedom of expression and right to campus spaces will be met with the strongest opposition from the overwhelming progressive and democratic students of the campus.

Thanking You,

Name                                                                                                     Centre/School
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