Members of the Bangalore Research Network (BRN) have expressed their support to students and faculty members of the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.
Researchers and faculty members under the BRN consortium, comprising as many as 95 members belonging to major institutes in Bengaluru such as the Indian Institute of Science, Azim Premji University, National Law School of India University and other universities, have shown their support through signatures in a letter.
In the letter, the members state that they support the ‘unequivocally stand’ taken by JNU students and faculty members and highlighted the importance of universities as autonomous spaces for the free expression and plurality of beliefs.
The letter has been uploaded on a popular blog and follows in the footsteps of similar shows of support by students of various institutes, in the country and abroad.
“We condemn the blatantly authoritarian attempt by the police and the Central government to witch hunt students on the basis of their political beliefs. We also condemn the unethical media trial of JNU students such as Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid,” reads a line in the letter.
The letter also highlights recent incidents of unrest at the Hyderabad Central University, Film and Television Institute of India, Benaras Hindu University, as examples of the increasing interferences in the autonomy of an educational institution by the centre.
“As researchers, scholars, and academics, we are extremely concerned with the manner in which the ruling government has set aside India’s long-standing commitment to plurality in belief,” the letter reads.