Below we reproduce an open letter from historians and social scientists of India at academic institutions overseas to the president, the prime minister and central government, the governors and ministers of different state governments, and the chief justice and other justices of the Supreme Court and High Courts of India. The letter is dated November 8, 2015.
NOVEMBER 1 was the birth anniversary of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, who was murdered in Pune in August, 2013. So writers, artists and intellectuals from all directions came to Mavalankar Hall at New Delhi to join a 'Pratirodh' programme.
Decrying the rising intolerance and attack on the freedom of expression in the country as manifested by incidents such as the murder MM Kalburgi, Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and the lynching of Mohd Akhlaq, many eminent writers, as a mark of protest, have returned their Sahitya Akademi Awards or have resigned from the posts they held in the Sahitya Akademi. They have written to the president of the Akademi on why they have returned the award or resigned from various positions. Below we publish the excerpts from their letters.
The following is the letter written to the president of India, Pranab Mukherjee by the creative and academic community of West Bengal, by all members of PEN International, India, West Bengal Branch, by the creative community of Gujarat and Maharashtra and by many eminent writers.
THE Students' Federation of India, SFI and Democratic Youth Federation of India, DYFI have jointly organised a massive rally to the Film and Television Institute of India, FTII, Pune on August 23 in solidarity with the ongoing struggle by the students against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the governing council of the institution. The march was followed by a human chain set up in front of the FTII and a vibrant public meeting. MB Rajesh MP, national president of DYFI and Dr V Sivadasan, national president of SFI were among those who joined the protest.
THE Aligarh Historians Society joins archaeologists and historians all over the world in denouncing as a most barbarous crime the gruesome murder of the eminent Syrian archaeologist, Khaled al-Asaad, an expert on Palmyra, one of the great World Heritage sites.
The Society hopes that the perpetrators of the crime, belonging to the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (DAISH) one day be brought to justice, along with those who have directed or colluded with them. Civilised people, irrespective of country or religion, must unite in their
SINCE its foundation, the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), has been a nursery for cinema practices and education in the country. This unique institute has been a space which has always encouraged, cultivated and protected freedom of thought, expression and experimentation. The stature of FTII is clearly reflected in the collective body of work of its students - both in the mainstream film industry, as well as in vibrant regional cinema.
IN its ‘crusade’ against the intellectual life of the nation and the institutional framework purported to nurture the same, the Modi government and the Sangh Parivar has taken one more victim. This time it is the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), one of the most revered institutes in imparting education in film making, not only in India, but in the whole of Asia.
AS the world welcomed the first day of 2015, Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) organised a day-long event to mark the 26TH anniversary of Safdar Hasmi’s martyrdom. This year also marks his 60TH birthday. The Constitution Club Annexe, New Delhi was the venue of this politically and socially significant event. Artistes from varied walks of life came together on a common platform to remember the sacrifice of a person whose life was cruelly cut short by those who were not comfortable with his outspoken, non-conformist and radical methods.