JAC Mumbai's Statement on the suspension of Professors across the Universities.
Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, Mumbai strongly condemns the politically motivated decision of University of Hyderabad administration to suspend professors Dr. K. Y. Ratnam, Head, Centre for Ambedkar Studies and faculty member, Department of Political Science and Dr. Tathagata Sengupta, faculty member, Department of Mathematics. Dr. K. Y. Ratnam and Dr. Tathagata Sengupta have been part of the struggle for justice for Rohit Vemula at the University. Both of them were targeted and arrested simply for the act of requesting the police to desist from beating and hurting the students during the brutal lathi charge on 22nd May 2016. Prof. Ratnam, a Dalit faculty member who has been a persistent support for students fighting for social justice, has been targeted in a casteist manner by Prof. Appa Rao repeatedly since 2002. We have also seen politically motivated actions taken against the faculties in other Universities such as Prof. Sandeep Pandey in Banaras Hindu University, Prof. Sanober Keshwar and Prof. Monica Sakhrani in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, Dr. Saibaba and others in Delhi University.
Such harassment of faculty should be seen in context of the increasing interference of the RSS-led BJP government in affairs of the higher education. It is gradually assuming control over the administration of universities through appointment of its supporters. Dissent is being dealt with an iron hand through expulsions, boycott, suspensions and arrests.
Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, Mumbai demands that the suspension of HCU faculties be revoked, and that Prof.Appa Rao be immediately suspended from duty and prevented from committing any further atrocity against Dalit students, faculty and staff on campus. We demand justice for Rohith Vemula and his family, and an end to caste atrocities and discrimination on university campuses. We also demand the government in power to stop actions against faculty members and staff at the Universities who are committed to the cause of social justice.
JAC Mumbai calls for a protest demonstration on Monday, 20th June 2016, to condemn the harassment of faculty members fighting for social justice.( Venue and time will be informed soon)