Support for Students and Faculty at the University of Hyderabad

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The statement that follows is being circulated in solidarity with the students and faculty of the Hyderabad Central University, presently under siege by the police and from the central government in India.  In the past three days police and paramilitary forces have been occupying the HCU campus–dozens of students were beaten and molested by police officers, and deprived of basic food and water supplies, electricity and the media.  Twenty-seven people, including two faculty members, were abducted and badly brutalized by police. Several of them remain in custody in different locations throughout the city. There has been a virtual media blackout. This is part of what is becoming a worrisome pattern of state violence on academic institutions across the country. A number of you signed solidarity statements after Jawaharlal Nehru University at Delhi came under attack last month.  As students, teachers and activists based, let us tell the Indian government that we will not be silent while academic freedom is beheaded.

Please send your endorsement along with university affiliation (if any) as soon as possible to and do forward the link to this post as widely as possible.

Thank you for your support.


Over 300 academicians, activists, artists and writers condemn the state violence and unlawful detention of faculty and student protesters of the University of Hyderabad.

We, academicians, activists, artists and writers, condemn the ongoing brutal attacks on and unlawful detention of peacefully protesting faculty and students at the University of Hyderabad by the University administration and the police. We also condemn the restriction of access to basic necessities such as water and food on campus.

The students and faculty members of the University of Hyderabad were protesting the reinstatement of Dr. Appa Rao Podile as the Vice-Chancellor despite the ongoing judicial enquiry against him related to the circumstances leading to the death of the dalit student Rohith Vemula on January 17th, 2016. Students and faculty members of the university community are concerned that this may provide him the opportunity to tamper with evidence and to influence witnesses. Suicides by dalit students have been recurring in the University of Hyderabad and other campuses across the country.  The issue spiraled into a nationwide students’ protest with the death of the dalit scholar Rohith Vemula. The protests have pushed into the foreground public discussion and debate on the persistence of caste-based discrimination in educational institutions, and surveillance and suppression of dissent and intellectual debate in university spaces.

Since the morning of March 22 when Dr. Appa Rao returned to campus, the students and staff have been in a siege-like situation.  The peacefully protesting staff and students were brutally lathi-charged by the police, and 27 people were taken into custody. The 27 detainees were untraceable for 48 hours, brutally tortured, and denied legal access. In short, all legal procedures of detention have been suspended. After the incident, the university has been locked down with no access to food, water, electricity, and Internet connectivity.   Students were brutally assaulted when they opened community kitchens.  Lawyers and members of human rights organization as well the ordinary citizens of the city were denied access to students. University of Hyderabad is one of India’s biggest public universities.

We have followed, with deep concern, similar violent attacks and undemocratic crackdown on students on the campuses of Jawaharlal Nehru University, the Film and Television Institute of India, the University of Allahabad, Jadavpur University, Burdwan University, and others across the country. That the highest administrative authorities in the university have allowed the silencing of debate and dissent is unfortunate. We are disturbed by the pattern of growing nexus between student vigilante groups, youth wing of the ruling party, state and university authorities in colleges and university campuses across the country in order to mobilize the state machinery against vulnerable students. This has created a climate of fear and oppression in the country, and continually violates fundamental human and Constitutional rights of students.

We stand in support of the protesting students, staff and faculty of the University of Hyderabad and demand the following:

  1. Immediate withdrawal of police from the campus.
  2. Immediate release of, and withdrawal of all cases against, all arrested students and faculty.
  3. Suspension of the Vice-Chancellor P. Appa Rao.
  4. Judicial enquiry into the role of the HRD Ministry, the HRD Minister and Mr. Bandaru Dattatreya in inciting violence against Dalits on campus.
  5. Independent enquiry into the incidents of violence on the campus including the role of the ABVP in vandalising the Vice-Chancellor’s office.
  6. Action against police personnel named by students in their complaints.
  7. Passage of the “Rohith Act” against caste discrimination in education.


  1. Lawrence Cohen, Director, Institute for South Asia Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  2. Navtej K Purewal Deputy Director, South Asia Institute SOAS University of London
  3. Akhil Gupta, Director, Center for India and South Asia (CISA), UCLA
  4. Michael Davis, Professor Emeritus, Department of Creative Writing, University of California Riverside
  5. Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director, The Oakland Institute
  6. Barbara Harriss-White, Oxford University
  7. Kavita Krishnan, Secretary AIPWA
  8. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University
  9. G. Arunima, Professor and Chair, Centre for Women’s Studies, School of Social Sciences, JNU
  10. Sandeep Pandey, former Visiting Faculty, IIT, BHU, Varanasi
  11. Michael D. Yates, Professor Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh, United States
  12. Abha Sur, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  13. Akeel Bilgrami, Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University
  14. Haroon Akram-Lodhi, Chair, Department of International Development Studies, Trent University, Canada
  15. Apoorvanand, University of Delhi
  16. Marjorie Griffin Cohen, Professor of Political Science and Chair of Women’s Studies Department, Simon Fraser University, Canada
  17. Gerald Epstein, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  18. Surinder S. Jodhka, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  19. Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Syracuse University
  20. Sangeeta Kamat, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  21. Dr. Shailaja Paik, University of Cincinnati
  22. Kevin B. Anderson, Professor of Sociology, University of California  Santa Barbara
  23. Tithi Bhattacharya, Professor of History, Purdue University
  24. Pranav Jani, The Ohio State University
  25. Vinay Gidwani, University of Minnesota
  26. Nivedita Menon, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  27. Alpa Shah, London School of Economics
  28. Jayati Ghosh, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  29. Srirupa Roy, University of Göttingen, Germany
  30. Rahul Varman, IIT Kanpur
  31. Ashwini Tambe, University of Maryland, College Park
  32. Jens Lerche, SOAS, University of London
  33. Gillian Hart, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
  34. Adrian Wilson,  Social Anthropology, London School of Economics
  35. Ayesha Kidwai, Professor ,Jawaharlal Nehru University
  36. Meher Engineer
  37. Aishwary Kumar, School of Humanities & Sciences, Stanford University
  38. Ajantha Subramanian, Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies, Harvard University
  39. Jyoti Puri, Chair and Professor of Sociology, Simmons College
  40. Abdul JanMohamed, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
  41. Dr. Nathaniel Roberts, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Goettingen, Germany
  42. Paula Chakravartty, New York University
  43. Atul Sood, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  44. Prof. Mohan Rao, Jawaharlal  Nehru University
  45. Yasmin Saikia, Professor of History, Arizona State University
  46. Nandini Chandra, Delhi University
  47. Elisabeth Weber, Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara
  48. C. P. Chandrasekhar, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  49. Prof. Rupa Viswanath, University of Goettingen, Germany
  50. Rama Baru, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  51. Svati Shah, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  52. Immanuel Ness, Professor, City University of New York
  53. Balmurli Natrajan, William Paterson University
  54. Veena Hariharan, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  55. Rajat Datta, Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  56. Geraldine Forbes, Professor, State University of New York, Oswego
  57. Joya Misra, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  58. Richard Seymour, London School of Economics
  59. Susan Visvanathan, Professor of Sociology, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  60. Dr. Pérez de Mendiola, Richard Armour Professor of Modern Languages, Chair, Dept. of Latin American, Caribbean and Spanish Literatures and Cultures & Humanities, Scripps College
  61. Peter Spiegler, Asst. Prof.,  Dept. of Economics, UMass, Amherst
  62. Swati Birla, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  63. Atreyi Dasgupta, Baylor College of Medicine
  64. Kuver Sinha, Syracuse University
  65. Sirisha Naidu, Wright State University
  66. Siddhartha Mitra, Programmer, Rockefeller University
  67. Samantha Agarwal, PhD Candidate, Johns Hopkins University
  68. Anup Gampa, PhD Candidate, University of Virginia
  69. Anu Mandavilli, Friends of South Asia
  70. Deepankar Basu, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  71. Nandini Dhar, Assistant Professor, Florida International University
  72. Michael Levien, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University
  73. Devika Dutt, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  74. Smita Ramnarain, Assistant Professor of Economics, Siena College
  75. Taki Manolakos, Wright State University
  76. Valentina Dallona, Johns Hopkins University
  77. Iveta Jusova, Carleton College, USA
  78. Aditi Chandra, University of California, Merced
  79. Hee-Young Shin, Wright State University
  80. Anjali Arondekar, UC Santa Cruz
  81. Jinee Lokaneeta, Drew University
  82. Ajay Chandra, University of Warwick
  83. Xiao Yu, Peking University
  84. Bettina Apthekar, UC Santa Cruz
  85. Anirban Karak, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  86. Natasha S K, Syracuse University
  87. Mitul Barua, Syracuse University
  88. Simmy Makhijani, San Francisco State University
  89. Sofia Gavtadze, Solidarity Network, Georgi
  90. Avishek Konar, Alumnus, The Ohio State University
  91. Robert Carley, Wright State University
  92. Dia Da Costa, Associate Professor, University of Alberta
  93. Ann Smock, University of California, Berkeley
  94. Liz Mount, Syracuse University
  95. Terese V Gagnon, Syracuse University
  96. Giorgi Kobakhidze, Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia
  97. Levin Ahmed, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  98. Christos Mais, Universiteit Leiden
  99. Taveeshi Singh, Syracuse University
  100. Aniruddha Das, Columbia University
  101. Safar Safqat, St Mary’s College of Maryland
  102. Ramaa Vasudevan, Colorado State University
  103. Osman Keshawarz, doctoral student, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  104. Narendra Subramaniam, McGill University
  105. Ammel Sharon, University of Pennsylvania
  106. Gventa Gventsadze
  107. Borisi Cirekidze
  108. Minakshi Menon, Max Planck Institute, Berlin
  109. Dmitri Khuskivadze
  110. Salo Kaladze
  111. Judith Rodenbeck, UC Riverside
  112. Ashok Prasad, Colorado State University
  113. Priyanka Srivastava, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  114. Arani Roy, Brandeis University
  115. Dag Erik Berg, University of Gottingen, Germany
  116. Rahul Nair, Antioch College, USA
  117. Gajendran Ayyathurai, Goettingen University, Germany
  118. Balaji Narasimhan, William Paterson University, United States
  119. Ember Skye Kanelee, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  120. Jungyeon Suh, Independent Researcher, United States
  121. Kannan Srinivasan
  122. Roli Verma, University of New Mexico
  123. Piya Chatterjee, Scripps College, US
  124. Lalit Batra, University of Minnesota
  125. Avanti Mukherjee, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  126. Tyler Hansen, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  127. Subho Basu, McGill University, Canada
  128. Laurie Nisonoff, Hampshire College, United States
  129. Satya Mohapatra, MIT
  130. Julia Corwin, University of Minnesota
  131. Parama Roy, UC Davis
  132. Noeleen McIlvenna, Wright State University
  133. Daniel Thompson, Johns Hopkins University
  134. Jesse Knutson, University of Hawaii, Manoa
  135. Prashant Keshavmurthy, McGill University, Canada
  136. Anasuya Sengupta, Berkeley, USA
  137. Uditi Sen, Hampshire College
  138. Zarrina Juraqulova, Denison University, USA
  139. Kiran Asher, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  140. Prakash Kashwan, University of Connecticut, Storrs
  141. Hamid Rezai, Pitzer College, USA
  142. Anindya Dey, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  143. Lara Deeb, Scripps College, USA
  144. Richa Nagar, University of Minnesota
  145. Vatsal Naresh, Columbia University
  146. Niharika Yadav, Princeton University
  147. Bedatri Datta Choudhury, NYU
  148. Sanjiv Gupta, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  149. Suvadip Sinha, University of Minnesota
  150. Ipsita Mandal, Perimeter Institute, Canada
  151. Poulomi Pal, Fulbright scholar
  152. Asmita Rangari, Activist, New Delhi
  153. Shipra Nigam, Activist, New Delhi
  154. Srinivas Lankala, Independent media scholar, Hyderabad
  155. Carolyn Elliott, University of Vermont
  156. Aviroop Sengupta, Columbia University
  157. Madhura Lohokare, Syracuse University
  158. Arijit Sen, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  159. Suyapa Portillo Villeda, Pitzer College, USA
  160. Oishik Sircar, University of Melbourne
  161. Arjun Bagchi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  162. Greg Anderson, Ohio State University
  163. Prarit Agarwal, Seoul National University, Korea
  164. Sayori Ghoshal, Columbia University
  165. Uponita Mukherjee, Columbia University
  166. Suyapa Portillo Villeda, Pitzer College
  167. Patricia Morton, University of California, Riverside
  168. Sofia Checa, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  169. Arpan Roy, John Hopkins University
  170. Cynthia Correa, The University of Texas at Austin
  171. Parvathy Binoy, Syracuse University, Syracuse
  172. Jonathon Hurd, RN, Seattle
  173. Varuni Bhatia, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  174. Erin McElroy, UCSC, Director, Anti-Eviction Mapping Project
  175. Geert Dhondt, John Jay College, The City University of New York
  176. Mithun Bhowmick, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  177. Alladi Sitaram, Retired Professor, Indian Statistical Institute
  178. Dr. Kasturi Ray, San Francisco State University
  179. Alicia Giron, National University of Mexico
  180. Probal Dasgupta, Indian Statistical Institute
  181. Larry Halpern, Wittenberg University
  182. Suchitra Mathur, Faculty, IIT Kanpur, India
  183. Aditi Saraf, Johns Hopkins University
  184. Ketaki Jaywant, University of Minnesota
  185. Nagesh Rao, Colgate University
  186. Irfan Ahmad, ACU Melbourne, Australia
  187. Suvrat Raju, TIFR
  188. Saikat Ghosh, IIT Kanpur
  189. Samyak Ghosh, Columbia University
  190. Catherine Liu, UC Irvine
  191. Francis Cody, University of Toronto
  192. Bhavani Raman, University of Toronto
  193. Erika Suderburg, University of California Riverside
  194. Saptarshi Mandal, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat
  195. Anannya Bohidar, Graduate Student, South Asia Studies, UPenn
  196. Rahul Pandey, visiting faculty, IIM Lucknow
  197. Tania Bhattacharyya, Columbia University
  198. Aditi Sarkar, Architect, Las Cruces, New Mexico
  199. Shakti Sathish Nambiar, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne
  200. Krishna Melnattur, Washington University School of Medicine
  201. Rupal Oza, Hunter College, City University of New York
  202. Maroona Murmu, Assistant Professor, Jadavpur University
  203. Gayatri Chatterjee, Symbiosis School of Liberal Art
  204. Sipra Mukherjee, Professor, West Bengal State University
  205. Raja Swamy, Asst. Prof., Dept. of Anthropology, University of Tennessee
  206. Anandavardhanan, Department of Mathematics, IIT Bombay
  207. Priyanka Bhattacharya, The Doon School, Dehradun
  208. Anuradha Roy, Jadavpur University
  209. Ramesh Sreekantan, Statistics and Mathematics Unit Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore.
  210. Srinath Jagannathan, Indian Institute of Management Indore
  211. Tanima Sharma, PhD student, University of Chicago
  212. Meena Alexander, City University of New York
  213. Sharmila Sreekumar, IIT Bombay
  214. Venkatesh K Subramanian, IIT Kanpur
  215. Food Sovereignty Alliance, India
  216. The Ghadar Alliance, US
  217. Nandita Narain, St.Stephen’s College, Delhi University
  218. Deepa Kurup, University of Oxford
  219. Ramesh Bairy, IIT Bombay
  220. Papori Bora, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  221. Ritwik Balo
  222. Ranjani Mazumdar, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  223. PK Vijayan
  224. Dr. Papia Sengupta, CPS/SSS
  225. Krishna V V, CSSP/SSS
  226. A.K. Ramakrishnan, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  227. Arunima S Mukherjee
  228. George Chkhaidze
  229. Elizabeth Abel
  230. Dr. Kochurani Abraham, Kerala
  231. Saumyajit Bhattacharya
  232. Pradip Datta, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  233. Rohit Azad, Center for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  234. Deepak K Mishra, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  235. Tulay Atay–Avsar, Mustafa Kemal University, Turkey
  236. Dr. Vikas Bajpai, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  237. Saradindu Bhaduri, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi and ISS, The Hague
  238. Dr Erica Wald, Goldsmiths, University of London
  239. Navaneetha Mokkil
  240. Manidipa Sen, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  241. Ameet Parameswaran, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  242. K. B. Usha, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  243. Gopinath Ravindran
  244. Avinash Kumar, CISLS, SSS, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  245. Puja Rani, University of Delhi
  246. Ritoo Jerath, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  247. Hannah Carlan, Department of Anthropology, UCLA
  248. Ganga Bhavani Manthini
  249. Sucharita Sen, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  250. Dr. Mallarika Sinha Roy, Centre for Women’s Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  251. Archana Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  252. Dinesh Abrol, Institute for Studies in Industrial Development.
  253. Vikas Rawal, Professor, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  254. Sanjaya Kumar Bohidar, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University
  255. Simona Sawhney, IIT Delhi
  256. Dr Debjani Sengupta, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi
  257. Anirban Gupta-Nigam, University of California, Irvine
  258. Nandita Badami, University of California, Irvine
  259. Sneha Gaddam, PhD Candidate, University of Leicester
  260. Prabhu Mohapatra Department of History Univ of Delhi
  261. Farida Khan, Univ. of Wisconsin Parkside
  262. Pankaj Mehta, Dept. of Physics, Boston University
  263. Tista Bagchi, University of Delhi
  264. Ra Ravishankar, Bangalore
  265. Sambuddha Chaudhuri, University of Pennsylvania
  266. Ani Maitra, Colgate University
  267. Ethel Brooks, Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology, Rutgers University
  268. Abha Dev Habib, Miranda House, University of Delhi
  269. Surajit Mazumdar, Center for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  270. Sonajharia Minz, Professor, School of Computer & Systems Sciences, JNU
  271. Vinay Kumar Ambedkar
  272. Naveen Gaur, Associate Professor, Dyal Singh College, University of Delhi
  273. Margot Weiss, Wesleyan University
  274. Vivekananda Mukherjee, Professor, Dept. of Economics, Jadavpur University
  275. Dr Shakira Hussein, National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies, Asia Institute, University of Melbourne
  276. Udaya Kumar, Professor, CES, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, JNU
  277. Kriti Budhiraja, Graduate Student, University of Minnesota
  278. Radhika Balakrishnan, Rutgers University
  279. Seema Saha Poddar
  280. Poulomi Saha, Assistant Professor of English, UC Berkeley
  281. Swapnil Deshmukh, Mumbai University
  282. Dr Lata Singh
  283. Tyler Feaver, Wright State University
  284. Pavithra Vasudevan, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  285. Santosh Rohit Yerrabolu, Buffalo, NY
  286. Professor V V Krishna, Centre for Studies in Science Policy, SSS, JNU
  287. Amy E. Alterman, Graduate Student, University of California Los Angeles
  288. Ian Duncan, Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley
  289. Bir singh, Asstt. Professor, Dept. of Economics, University of Delhi
  290. Amit Singh, Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University
  291. Poonam Srivastava, University of Chicago, Postdoc Researcher
  292. Omnia El Shakry, University of California, Davis
  293. Jhuma Sen, O.P. Jindal Global University, India
  294. Corey Payne and Chase Alston, Co-Presidents of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Johns Hopkins University
  295. Sankaran Krishna, Professor, Dept. of Political Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  296. Mytheli Sreenivas, Ohio State University
  297. Preeti Shekar, Asian College of Journalism
  298. Susan Himmelweit, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, Open University, Walton Hall, UK
  299. Kalyani Monteiro Jayasankar, Graduate Student, Princeton University
  300. Nicolau Dols, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Spain
  301. Kartik Misra, Graduate Student, Dept. of Economics, UMass, Amherst
  302. Dolly Daftary, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  303. Sugata Ray, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science
  304. Martin Kich, Wright State University



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