ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Nandini Sundar

Academic Freedom and Indian Universities

Academic freedom is increasingly under assault from authoritarian governments worldwide, supported by right-wing student groups who act as provocateurs within. In India, recent assaults on academic freedom have ranged from curbs on academic and extracurricular events to brutal assaults on students. However, the concept of academic freedom is complex and needs to be placed in a wider institutional context. While academic freedom was critical to earlier visions of the Indian university, as shown by various commissions on higher education, it is now increasingly devalued in favour of administrative centralisation and standardisation. Privatisation and the increase in precarious employment also contribute to the shrinking of academic freedom.

Memories of a Good Man: M A Iqbal (1945-2012)

M A Iqbal left a comfortable government job in Nagpur to settle in Bastar becoming in the course of time friend and guide to the local people and maintaining an open house for visiting anthropologists, environmentalists and journalists. In the process he touched the lives of countless people who rated his friendship as a blessing. This is an account from one such admirer and friend.

Interning Insurgent Populations: The Buried Histories of Indian Democracy

Based on the memories of elderly Naga and Mizo villagers in north-east India who underwent grouping in the 1950s and 1960s, this article shows how the concept of "success" and "failure" used by studies of grouping is flawed, betraying a bureaucratic calculus. Whatever the overt reasons given for grouping, what underlies it is the assumption that all people in a given area, whether civilian or combatant, are potentially hostile. Grouping is thus an act of war rather than effective counter-insurgency. This article describes the process of grouping, forced labour, surveillance and starvation in the camps. While descriptions of the process of grouping are consistent, people's opinions vary on its implications for their own lives, depending on their past and current location.

Police States and Academic Freedom

The government should not impinge on academic freedom under the spurious plea of protecting "national interest". This is what is happening with increasing frequency in the recent past and needs to be condemned and stopped. This article, based on the experience of two teachers of Delhi University, shows how the police used illegal methods to obstruct their research and intimidate them.