Read full statement of Noam Chomsky and other top academicians condemning state violence in UoH

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


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