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

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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.

A Defending General

Foot Soldier of the Constitution: A Memoir by Teesta Setalvad, LeftWord Books, 2017; pp 226, ₹280.

The Chilling Effect of Restraints

This response to Indira Jaising and Ritu Menon's "Ethics and Theatrics" (EPW, 28 March 2015) says blaming Leslee Udwin, maker of the controversial India's Daughter and her promoters for not addressing the different contexts of rape is missing the point.

Killing of Adivasis in Chhattisgarh

We are deeply saddened at the indiscriminate killing of 18 adivasis in Kottaguda Panchayat of Bijapur district as part of the security force’s combing operations. Even if they were attending a Maoist meeting, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) should not have opened fire so carelessly knowing...

Maoist Intimidation

LETTERS Issn 0012-9976 Ever since the first issue in 1966, EPW has been India’s premier journal for comment on current affairs and research in the social sciences. It succeeded Economic Weekly (1949-1965), which was launched and shepherded by Sachin Chaudhuri, who was also the founder-editor of EPW...

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.

Supreme Court on Salwa Judum

We warmly welcome the order by justices Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar of the Supreme Court, passed on 5 July 2011, directing the state of Chhattisgarh to stop using special police officers (SPOs) in counter-insurgency operations, disarm them and stop supporting vigilante movements by any name. We...

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.

Condemnation of Maoist Violence

As co-petitioners in a public interest litigation before the Supreme Court (WP 250/2007) urging the end of civil strife in Chhattisgarh, we write to express our shock and horror at the detonation of a bus in Dantewada district by Maoists on 17 May, killing around 50 innocent civilians. We condemn...

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.

'Victims of the Home Ministry'?

The advertisement of the Union Home Ministry, captioned “Look at These Innocent People – Victims of Naxal Violence”, that was carried in The Indian Express, The Hindu, and The Times of India on 20 September is not only vicious and vindictive, it is also easily the most irresponsible in recent times...

The Tragedy of Chhattisgarh

Your editorial “Stifling of Democracy in Chhattisgarh” (13 June 2009) fails to capture the current situation there adequately. To say that “(the) PUCL and a few independent journalists have been the lone voices honestly reporting on this grim state of affairs” is to miss the point. By now there is...

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