Eminent academics open letter to the Prime Minister of India on the Kathua and Unnao rape cases
Hundreds of eminent academics have written an open letter to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. The academics have directly said that Modi's statements on the recent Kathua and Unnao rape cases had been "wholly inadequate, platitudinous, and non-specific assurances of justice for the victims".
The signatories to the letter are academics from across the world. The academics hail from illustrious institutes like Harvard, Columbia University, New York University, IITs, IIMs and countries like the United Kingdom, Singapore, the Netherlands and others.
This is the second open letter directly addressed to PM Modi this week. Earlier 49 retired civil servants sent an open letter to PM Modi holding him responsible for the “terrifying state of affairs”.
Here's the full text of the open letter:
Open letter to the Prime Minister of India on the Kathua and Unnao Rape Cases
The Prime Minister of India,
Prime Minister’s Office, South Block,
Raisina Hill, New Delhi 110 001.
21 April 2018
Mr Prime Minister,
We are academics and independent scholars from India and abroad, writing to express solidarity with, and to endorse the sentiments expressed by, forty-nine retired civil servants in their open letter to you of April 16th 2018.
Along with these civil servants and countless other citizens of India and the world at large, we wish to express our deep anger and anguish over the events in Kathua and Unnao and the aftermath of these events; over the efforts, in both cases, of those administering the relevant States to protect the alleged perpetrators of these monstrous crimes; over the subsequent profoundly distasteful efforts of rationalisation, deflection and diversion that have been so much in evidence in the reactions of your party’s spokespersons in the media; and finally over your own prolonged (and by now familiar) silence that was broken only recently with wholly inadequate, platitudinous, and non-specific assurances of justice for the victims.
Kathua and Unnao are not isolated incidents. They are part of a pattern of repeated targeted attacks on minority religious communities, Dalits, tribals and women, in which rape and lynching have been employed as instruments of violence by gau rakshaks and others, in a sequence of events spread across Dadri in Uttar Pradesh (2015), Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir (2015), Bijapur and Sukma in Chhattisgarh (2015-16), Harda in Madhya Pradesh (2016), Latehar in Jharkand (2016), Una in Gujarat (2016), Rohtak in Haryana (2017), Delhi (2017), Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh (2017), and now Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh (2018).
Many of these events have occurred in States with BJP Governments, and all of them after the BJP assumed power at the Centre. This is not to associate violence exclusively with your party and with State governments presided over by your party. But there is an undeniable association with the ruling dispensation.
There is little evidence, in government action, of an appreciation of the importance of providing assistance to vulnerable sections of the society – whether through promotional measures aimed at enabling tribals and nomads to have access to forest and common property rights, or through preventive measures aimed at discouraging blatant breaches of the rule of law. Even the Allahabad High Court on April 12th 2018 observed: “If this is the conduct of the police in the state, whom will a victim approach to register a complaint? If this is the stand you are repeatedly taking then we will be forced to observe in our order that law and order has collapsed in the state".
We send you this letter because it is our duty to do so; so that we are not guilty of silence; and so that callousness and cowardice might finally draw the line at the broken body of a little girl and the rape of a young woman.
List of signatories
- N Abhilaasha, Centre for Urban Equity, Ahmedabad
- Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University, New York, USA
- Arnab Acharya, Independent researcher, Washington D.C.
- Anindita Adhikari , Brown University, USA
- Tanvir Aeijaz, Ramjas College, Delhi
- Farzana Afridi, Delhi
- Aftab Ahmad, Columbia University, New York, USA
- Huma Ahmed-Ghosh, San Diego State University, CA, USA
- Aniket Alam, International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad
- Seema Alavi, University of Delhi, Delhi
- Meena Alexander, Hunter College/Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, USA
- Dibyesh Anand, University of Westminster, UK
- S.Anandhi, Chennai.
- Krishna Ananth, SRM University - AP Amaravati
- Mary Anderson: Harvard University and Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, USA
- Aneesh, K.A., Jawaharlal Nehru Institute, New Delhi
- Gil Anidjar, Columbia University, New York, USA
- Anitha Kumary L, Trivandrum
- Sundari Anitha, University of Lincoln, United Kingdom
- E. Annamalai, University of Chicago, USA
- J. Shaik Dawood Ansari, Open Campus Madang, University of Papua New Guinea
- Arjun Appadurai, New York University, New York, USA
- Anjali Arondekar, UCLA, USA
- Balveer Arora, Emeritus Professor and Chairman, Centre for Multilevel Federalism
- P K Yasser Arafath, University of Delhi, Delhi
- Shoba Arun, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
- G. Arunima, JNU, New Delhi
- Nina Asher, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, USA
- Kiran Asher, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA
- Prashanth Asuri, Santa Clara University, USA
- Jayadev Athreya, University of Washington, USA
- Venkatesh Athreya, Social Activist and Retired Academic, Chennai
- Madhav Badami, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
- Amiya Kumar Bagchi, (Emeritus), Institute for Development Studies, Kolkata
- Barnita Bagchi, Utrecht University, Netherlands
- Neha Bagle, IIM Ahmedabad
- Vidura Jang Bahadur, University of Chicago, Chicago, USA
- Amit R. Baishya, Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Oklahoma
- Mira Bakhru, Retd faculty, IIM Bangalore, Bnagalore.
- Aparna Balachandran, University of Delhi, Delhi
- Radhika Balakrishnan, Rutgers University, U.S.A
- Sai Balakrishnan, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, USA
- Sujata Balasubramanian, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong
- Swethaa S. Ballakrishnen, New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Sibaji Bandyopadhyay, Retd Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
- Abhijit Banerjee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
- Arindam Banerjee, Ambedkar University, Delhi
- Chinmoy Banerjee, Emeritus, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada
- Sukanya Banerjee, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA
- Sumanta Banerjee, Independent Researcher, Hyderabad
- Parama Barai, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
- Syamal Kumar Basak (Retd), Presidency College/University, Kolkata
- Rakesh Basant, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
- Alaka Basu, Cornell University, U.S.A
- Amrita Basu, Amherst College, Mass, USA
- Deepankar Basu, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst MA, USA
- Kunal Basu, University of Oxford, UK
- Lopamudra Basu, University of Wisconsin-Stout
- Kanika Batra, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA
- Amita Baviskar, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi
- Rana P. Behal, University of Delhi, India.
- Jyothsna Belliappa, Bangalore
- Yael Berda, Hebrew University and Harvard University, USA
- Amit Bhaduri, (Emeritus), JNU, New Delhi.
- Monika Bhagat-Kennedy, University of Mississippi
- Manu Bhagavan, Hunter College and the Graduate Center-CUNY, New York, USA
- Alok Bhalla, Former Professor of English, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.
- Sheila Bhalla, (Emerita): Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Visiting: Institute of Human Development, New Delhi
- Brenna Bhandar , SOAS, University of London, London UK
- Gauri Bharat, CEPT University, Ahmedabad
- Ira Bhaskar, JNU, New Delhi
- Saurabh Bhattacharjee, The WB National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
- Baidik Bhattacharya, University of Delhi. Delhi
- Neeladri Bhattacharya, Retd from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
- Sucheta Bhattacharya, Jadavpur University, Kolkata
- Debjani Bhattacharyya, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
- Devaki Bhaya, Stanford, CA, USA
- Bhangya Bhukya, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
- Akeel Bilgrami, Columbia University, U.S.A.
- A K Biswas, Former Vice-Chancellor, B R Ambedkar Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, Bihar
- Bënil Biswas, Ambedkar University, Delhi
- Moinak Biswas, Professor, Jadavpur University, Kolkata
- Cavery Bopaiah, Bangalore
- Mita Bose, retired, Indraprastha College, Delhi University and currently Adjunct faculty at ICFAI Business School, Gurugram, Haryana
- Tirthankar Bose, Simon Fraser University, Canada
- Saronik Bosu, New York University, New York, USA
- Guillaume Boucher, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
- Milind Brahme, Chennai, India
- Vacha Brat, IIM, Ahmedabad
- Carmen Bugan, writer and independent scholar, Long Island, USA
- Eleanor Byrne, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
- Maya Chadda, William Paterson University, NJ, USA
- Kunal Chakrabarti, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
- Achin Chakraborty, Institute for Development Studies, Kolkata
- Chandrima Chakraborty, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
- Lekha Chakraborty, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi
- Madhurima Chakraborty, Columbia College Chicago
- Pinaki Chakraborty, New Delhi
- Rudrashish Chakraborty, Kirori Mal College, Delhi
- Shouvik Chakraborty, PERI, University of Massachussetts Amherst, U.S.A
- Ranabir Chakravarti, JNU, New Delhi
- Paula Chakravartty, New York University, New York, USA
- Mrinalini Chakravorty, University of Virginia, USA
- Barnali Chanda, Techno India University, Kolkata
- Sudhir Chandra, Historian
- Vinita Chandra, Ramjas College, Delhi
- C. P. Chandrasekhar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
- Tarun Chandrayadula, IIT Madras, Chennai
- S. Charusheela, University of Washington Bothell, USA
- Sayaka Chatani, National University of Singapore, Singapore
- Amita Chatterjee, Retired Professor of Philosophy, Jadavpur University
- Ananya Chatterjea, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
- Indrani Chatterjee, University of Texas at Austin, USA
- Sreeparna Chattopadhyay, Bangalore
- Suchetana Chattopadhyay, Jadavpur University, Kolkata
- Ruchi Chaturvedi, University of Cape Town, South Africa
- Amit Chaudhuri, Writer, Calcutta
- Aparna Chaudhuri, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
- Rosinka Chaudhuri, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
- Sudip Chaudhuri, Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.
- Sukanta Chaudhuri, (Emeritus), Jadavpur University, Kolkata
- Supriya Chaudhuri, (Emeritia). Jadavpur University, Kolkata
- Wendy Chavkin MD, MPH, Columbia University, New York, USA
- Ying Chen, New School for Social Research, New York, USA
- Anuradha Mitra Chenoy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
- Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
- Dolores Chew, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
- Anita Chikkatur, Carleton College, Northfield, MN
- Camille Cole, Yale University, U.S.A
- Andrew Cornford, Geneva Finance Observatory, Switzerland
- Amrita Chhachhi, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands
- Jagdeep Chhokar, Professor (Retired), Indian Institute of Management,Ahmedabad
- Sarah E. Chinn, Hunter College, CUNY, New York, USA
- Deborah Choate, MD, Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Boston, USA
- Noam Chomsky, ( Emeritus) Massachussetts Institute of Technology, and University of Arizona, U.S.A
- Deepta Chopra, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
- Elora Halim Chowdhury, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA
- Indira Chowdhury Bengaluru, India
- Indranil Chowdhury, University of Delhi, Delhi