Vol. XL No. 41 October 09, 2016

Sahmat Condemns Undemocratic Moves In Central University of Haryana

SAFDAR Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) in a statement issued on October 3, has said that the staging of a play written by the renowned writer and activist, Mahasweta Devi, would lead to questions, inquiry and ‘trouble’ for two teachers of the English department of the Central University of Haryana, Snehsata and Manoj Kumar is very hard to digest and must be condemned in the strongest of terms.

The University has “apologised” to activists of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) but its activists continue to hound the administration and students/teachers involved with the staging of Draupadi by Mahasweta Devi. The misplaced and entirely ridiculous charge is that a scene in the play is ‘anti-national’, which is the new catch-all phrase to bundle all those even slightly opposed to the BJP-RSS or even holding independent views.

Sahmat expressed shocked at this hounding of the late Mahasweta Devi, who died recently and was praised by even senior BJP leaders as they condoled her death. The BJP president Amit Shah went to the extent of saying; “Her contribution to Indian literature is peerless, Rudali and Hajar Churashir Maa were my personal favorites.”

This is again an attack by the ABVP on the freedom of expression in a central University. Sahmat condemned this latest assault and express solidarity with the professors being hounded.