More than 200 academics, including vice-chancellors of universities, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, blaming ‘a small group of leftist activists’ for the deteriorating academic environment in the country.
The letter to the Prime Minister states, “We believe that in the name of student politics, a destructive, extreme left agenda is being pursued.” The recent incidents on campuses from JNU to Jamia, from AMU to Yadavpur (University) alert us to the deteriorating academic environment due to the mischief of a small group of left-wing activists. ”
According to official sources, those who signed the statement included RP Tiwari, vice-chancellor of Hari Singh Gaur University, HCS Rathore, vice-chancellor of South Bihar Central University and Shirish Kulkarni, vice-chancellor of Sardar Patel University.
It is titled ‘Statement against leftist anarchy in educational institutions’.
This statement of two hundred and eight academics is being considered as the government’s attempt to garner support in the academic world. Indeed, the government is facing criticism by a section of scholars over demonstrations at some universities over a range of issues, including the Revised Citizenship Act (CAA) and the recent attack on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus.
Taking a dig at the left-leaning groups, the statement said that censorship imposed by leftist politics has made it difficult to organize mass dialogues or speak freely.
In a letter to Modi, it has been said that strike, picketing, and bandh have become common in the strongholds of the Left, and personal targeting, public sabotage, and harassment are increasing, if not in line with Left ideology. The statement said that such politics is affecting the worst students and students from marginalized communities.
It says, “These students will lose the opportunity to learn and create a better future for themselves.” They will lose the freedom to express their views and alternate politics. They will find themselves limited to conforming to the majority left politics. We appeal to all democratic forces to unite and stand for academic freedom, freedom of expression and multiplicity of views.