Press Esc to close
Tuesday 25 April 2017
News updated at 9:35 PM IST

US civil liberties group cautions Harvard on action against Swamy

Last updated: 30 July, 2011
Washington, July 30, (IANS): 10:40 IST

As the controversy over an article written by Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy snowballed, a US civil liberties group cautioned Harvard University on taking action against its Summer School instructor.

Swamy, who earned his PhD from Harvard in 1965, penned an op-ed published July 16 in Mumbai's DNA newspaper that advocated denial of voting rights to non-Hindus with the goal of stemming terrorist attacks in India.

Following the publication of the article, several Harvard affiliates circulated a petition calling on the university to end its ties with Swamy. The petition has gathered 312 signatures to date and in a statement, the dean of the Summer School said that the school "will give this matter our serious attention".

But in a letter to University President Drew G. Faust, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a civil liberties group with a focus on academia, said the group is "concerned about the threat to freedom of expression" that may come about from that attention.

"The threat of a disciplinary investigation of Swamy stands in sharp and unflattering contrast to this admirable and appropriate understanding of the importance of freedom of expression in the academic community," Adam H. Kissel '94, vice president of programmes at FIRE, wrote in the letter as cited by Harvard Crimson, the university newsletter.

Harvard has not explicitly said that it is investigating Swamy or that it has considered such an investigation.

Kissel wrote that an investigation of Swamy's article would go against Harvard's commitment to free speech, as outlined in the "Free Speech Guidelines" adopted by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1990.

"If members of the Harvard community are given to understand that Harvard might begin an investigation-with possible disciplinary consequences-of the views they express, they likely will self-censor," he wrote. "This is precisely the result that a university dedicated to intellectual freedom must seek to avoid."

"Harvard must honour its own promises," he told the Crimson in a phone interview.
"Students have every right to protest for or against ideas in article, as does Harvard, but Harvard may not investigate or punish the expression."

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Wife of CRPF martyr Inspector Raghbir Singh saluting her husband's body during his funeral in ...

Wife of CRPF martyr Inspector Raghbir Singh saluting her husband's body during his funeral in ...

Daughter of CRPF martyr Sanjay Kumar, who was killed in Naxal attack in Sukma chhattisgarh, wail ...

Daughter of CRPF martyr Sanjay Kumar, who was killed in Naxal attack in Sukma chhattisgarh, wail ...

CRPF martyr Inspector Raghbir Singh being carried during his funeral in village Sathiala, some 50 ..

CRPF martyr Inspector Raghbir Singh being carried during his funeral in village Sathiala, some 50 ..

Union Minister Radhakrishnan paying respect to the body of CRPF martyr Alagupandi, at Madurai ...

Union Minister Radhakrishnan paying respect to the body of CRPF martyr Alagupandi, at Madurai ...

Injured CRPF jawans being airlifted to Raipur by an IAF chopper for treatment on Monday follwing ...

Injured CRPF jawans being airlifted to Raipur by an IAF chopper for treatment on Monday follwing ...

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh enquiring about the health of injured CRPF personnel at the ...

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh enquiring about the health of injured CRPF personnel at the ...

School children pay tribute to CRPF jawans killed in the naxal attack in Chhattisgarh's Sukma ...

School children pay tribute to CRPF jawans killed in the naxal attack in Chhattisgarh's Sukma ...

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh paying tribute to CRPF jawans killed in the naxal attack in ...

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh paying tribute to CRPF jawans killed in the naxal attack in ...

Injured CRPF being brought to Raipur for treatment on Monday follwing a Maoist attack at Burkapal ..

Injured CRPF being brought to Raipur for treatment on Monday follwing a Maoist attack at Burkapal ..

Police in action students who were throwing brick bats on them during clashes in the vicinity of ...

Police in action students who were throwing brick bats on them during clashes in the vicinity of ...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.