IIT-Bombay faculty on Monday released a statement condemning the attacks on JNU students and faculty by masked men on Sunday night.
By Monday night, the statement had been endorsed by over 141 faculty members. For the next 10 days, the faculty has also decided to host an open discussion every day from 6 pm to 7 pm to discuss student concerns about recent events.
Speaking to The Indian Express, a professor said, “It was an impromptu decision to meet in the afternoon, decided through emails sent to colleagues after what happened last night. It was unprecedented and shocking. Earlier, for protests against CAA, we had attended in our individual capacity. Our major concern is that the right to dissent is being curbed. Hence, we decided to release a statement, the way we had done in support of JNU in 2015.”
The statement condemned “systemic attacks” on institutions in the country.
“We have watched with dismay the failure of universities and other academic institutes to protect their academic members, the cases are too many to be listed here… we reassert the rights of academic engagement and freedom of expression the Constitution of India grants us, including the right to debate, dissent and protest democratically and peacefully within academic campuses as well as outside,” it read.
Meanwhile, the TISS Teachers’ Association also wrote a letter to the faculty, students and staff at JNU.
“Over the last few months, there has been an alarming increase in violent incidences in universities such as AMU, JMIU, etc. and student atrocities in Mangalore. In all cases, we have seen either police brutality or police inaction and in some cases, administration was inactive to take the action against these goons. The academic freedom of students and teachers needs to be restored so that academic fraternity can carry out its duties without any fear,” the statement read.