Over 600 teachers of Delhi University and other Delhi based universities have written an open letter to HRD Minister Smriti Irani endorsing her stand in Parliament over the recent events in the Jawaharlal Nehru University and Hyderabad University.
The letter signed by UGC member Inder Mohan Kapahy and other 605 teachers in the National Democratic Teachers Front (NDTF) expresses concern at the “diabolically planned attempt by politically motivated groups to foment trouble and turmoil amongst students.”
The teachers say what happened in JNU on February 9 was unpardonable anti-national act which has to be both condemned and curbed. “We firmly believe that raising of slogans for the destruction of the nation, for its balkanisation, for the secession of Kashmir or of any other part of the country cannot be tolerated in the name of freedom of speech and dissent,” the letter says.
“It is unfortunate that some teachers of JNU are openly propagating that India is an occupying force in Kashmir and that the Kashmiris have a right to secede from India. They are also trotting out the argument that India has never been, nor is, one single country but a sub- continent with many nationalities,” the letter says and adds that this is an open call for another multiple partition of our motherland which is in line with slogans raised in JNU.
The teachers further say in their letter that they support democratic right to freedom of speech and dissent but that right does not extend to the right to demand destruction and division of India. “Anti establishment is allowed: anti nation activities are not,” they say.
The JNU has been in the middle of a storm after a group of students conducted an event on the campus on February 9 to commemorate the death anniversary of Afzal Guru who was hanged in 2013 after being convicted in the Parliament attack case. Three students, including students union president Kanhaiya Kumar were arrested by Delhi police over a complaint that anti-India slogans were raised during the event. Kanhaiya was later released on bail.