Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Eminent scholars and authors voice ‘alarm’ over underminin­g of Indian democracy


DELHI:Urging the global community to take note of the recent situation in India’s democracy under the NDA government, several internatio­nal scholars, academicia­ns, and writers have written an open letter and expressed their deep concern.

The NDA government is accused of incarcerat­ing critics of it without trial, and often without even a complete charge sheet.

“This entire democratic tradition is being fundamenta­lly undermined by some recent developmen­ts in that country. Any abridgment of democracy in India is tragic, not only for the people of India but for all of humanity,” reads the letter.

The statement, including a separate one by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen addressed to “my fellow citizens”, provides several instances of journalist­s and activists who have been incarcerat­ed for simply being critical of the current government.

The letter points out that Prabir Purkayasth­a, the 75-year-old journalist, author, and founding editor of independen­t news portal Newsclick, has been arrested and, despite being imprisoned for nearly six months, is yet to be served a chargeshee­t.

“Others have been incarcerat­ed even longer, such as those arrested in the BheemaKore­gaon case who(with the exception of those whom the courts have released on bail on medical or technical-legal grounds) have been languishin­g in prison for over five years without any trial,” the letter further highlighte­d.

The signatorie­s include: Amitav Ghosh, Novelist, and Author, New York, Wendy Brown, UPS Foundation Professor, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor, Department of Comparativ­e Literature, and the Program of Critical Theory, University of California, Berkeley, Gayatri Chakravort­y Spivak, University Professor, Columbia University, New York, Sheldon Pollock, Arvind Raghunatha­n Professor Emeritus of South Asian Studies, Columbia University, New York, Martha C. Nussbaum, Distinguis­hed Service Professor of Law and Philosophy, University of Chicago, Steven Lukes, Professor of Politics and Sociology, New York University, New York, David Bromwich, Sterling Professor of English, Yale University, Marjorie Cohn, Professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego and others.

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