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Jamia Teachers’ Association ‘silence’ over Ramjas violence questioned

Jamia Teachers’ Association ‘silence over ABVP’s violence in Ramjas’ questioned. In a message, Professor R Gopinath, Department of History and Culture and Advisor to Centres of Higher Learning, Jamia Millia Islamia, wrote: “The murderous attack on teachers and students in Delhi University’s Ramjas College by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad with the support of the Delhi Police needs to condemned in no uncertain terms.

“Academics and students from across the country have denounced this latest attack on dissenting voices by the Sanghis who now control the administration of higher learning as well as police.

“I wonder why the JTA leadership has not yet condemned this murderous assault on our colleagues in Delhi University. Hyderabad Central University, Jadavpur University, JNU, the Central University of Haryana, Mahendragarh, JNV University Jodhpur, and now Ramjas College have been victims of the politics of the Sangh Parivar. The list seems to be growing longer by the day.

“Though not a great fan of using quotations, in this particular instance of the JTA’s silence, Reverend Martin Niemöller’s famous lines assume ominous significance for teachers and students in Indian universities:

“When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

“When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

“When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

“When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

“When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

“I strongly urge the JTA to immediately take a stand on these continuing attacks and organise a discussion on how we in the Jamia can safeguard the university as a place for the free exchange of ideas, academic freedom and critical inquiry.”

JTA office bearer Mahmood Ahmad could not be reached for his comment.

A few days ago Jamia students had taken out a peaceful march on the university campus in solidarity with the AISA and other activists who were allegedly assaulted in the Ramjas College clash. A Jamia Professor Rizwan Quaiser had addressed the students, according to sources.

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