Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo Credit: File Image)
More than 200 academicians on Sunday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the recent incidents of violence in different universities across the country. The academicians include vice chancellors of universities. The signatories to the statement include Hari Singh Gour University VC R P Tiwari, Central University of South Bihar VC HCS Rathore and Sardar Patel University VC Shirish Kulkarni, among others, reported news agency ANI.
Expressing concern over the agitations, the academicians said the university campuses are being turned into "islands of ossified worldviews." "The recent turn of events on the campuses from JNU to Jamia, from AMU to Jadavpur alarms us to the deteriorating academic environment due to the shenanigans of a small coterie of left-wing activists," the academics said in the letter.
On January 5, violence erupted at the Jawaharlal Nehru University when a group of masked men armed with sticks and rods barged into the campus and thrashed students and teachers, vandalizing hostels. Violent protests were also reported from other universities across the country against the newly amended citizenship act.
The letter, accessed by ANI, alleged the “censorship imposed by left-wing politics” is making it difficult to “organise public talks or to speak independently” at the campuses.
“Strikes, dharnas and shutdowns over maximalist demands are common in left strongholds. Personal targeting, public slandering and harassment for not conforming to the left ideology is on increase,” read the letter. “They also lose out on the freedom to articulate their own views and alternative politics. They find themselves constrained to conform to the majoritarian left politics,” it said.
Calling for academic freedom, the top academics said the protests and incidents of violence are turning students into political activists rather than learners.