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The eleven are not just eleven

Statement in solidarity with teachers of the Department of English, University of Delhi, (DU)

24 April 2011

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‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’

In solidarity with teachers of the Department of English, University of Delhi, (DU)

We take the groundless show cause notices issued by the Registrar of DU to 11 members of the Department of English, dated April 15, 2011, to be notices issued each one of us. These notices, absurdly invoking Ordinance18 and the High Court Order in the Kalindi College case, neither of which has any bearing on the manufactured case against the teachers of English, provide sad proof of the extremes to which the DU authorities are willing to go in order to silence talk, discussion and debate, so that they are able to do exactly as they please, now and later, no matter how toxic the consequences for DU.

The visible blows of the threats of punitive action against the teachers of DU, since the summer of 2010, have ripped holes in the invisible sense of freedom without which no university can flourish. Irrespective of the manner in which this specific crisis comes to be resolved, Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh - like his predecessor - by choosing to wield the stick against teachers, and ground his authority in fear and intimidation, rather than trying relentlessly to abide by procedures and ‘prevail through the foolishness of preaching’, is failing the DU in incomparably large measure.

The eleven are not just eleven. Together we are many more. What is happening to them is happening to democracy on campus, to all of us. In solidarity we stand and together we wonder,

Yes, and how many more letters will the Registrar write

before he can see that he’s wrong?

And just how much longer will the VC go on

pretending he just doesn’t see?

Yes, and just how much longer will we have to fight on

before we can teach and be free?

The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind

the answer is here in our midst!

  • Mukul Mangalik,. Associate Professor, History Dept., Ramjas College
  • Shahana Bhattacharya, Assistant Professor, History Dept.,.Kirori Mal College
  • Amrapali Basumatary, Assistant Professor, English Dept., Kirori Mal College
  • Vinita Chandra, Associate Professor, English Dept, Ramjas College
  • Mihir Pandey, Associate Professor, Economics Dept. Ramjas College
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24 April 2011 Yvonne M Harris

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