170 intellectuals protest Gujarat criminal case against Ashis Nandy


Chennai: In a joint statement sent to The Hindu by Veena Das, Kriger-Eisenhower Professor at Johns Hopkins University, USA, 170 academics, writers, film makers, journalists, activists, and other public intellectuals drawn from several countries have expressed their strong protest against the charges of criminal offence brought against Ashis Nandy, a political psychologist, sociologist, and internationally known public intellectual.


“This is the latest case,” the signatories say, “of harassment of intellectuals, journalists, artists, and public figures by anti-democratic forces that claim to speak on behalf of Hindu values sometimes and patriotism at other times, especially in Gujarat, but who have little understanding of either. What is pernicious in this case is that the charge of criminal offence against Nandy levied under Section 153 (A) and (B) for his newspaper article ‘Blame the Middle Classes,’ was brought by the head of the Gujarat Branch of the National Council of Civil Liberties. The State Government of Gujarat, by giving its permission for filing the case, has shown its own complicity in the case.”

"It seems part of the strategy of the most intolerant sections of Indian society today,” the statement adds, “to make a cynical use the language of civil liberties to achieve ends that are the opposite of what the aspirations to civil liberties and the struggles over them represent…We demand that all the charges against Professor Nandy be immediately dropped. We understand that there is a great deal of anxiety in Gujarat today about its lost honour. It might help to remind ourselves that this honour or ‘asmita’ will not be gained by acts of violence and intimidation but by recovering or discovering the humanity of each other. Gujarat can and will regain its own destiny by remembering the politics of nonviolence, as one of its sons by the name of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi once taught the nation and the world."

List of Signatories


  • 1.Veena Das, Johns Hopkins University, USA.
  • 2.Homi Bhabha, Harvard University, USA
  • 3.Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Center for Policy Research, Delhi, India
  • 4.Gananath Obeyesekere, Princeton University, USA
  • 5.Pratiksha Baxi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India
  • 6. Saurabh Dube, El Colegio de Mexico
  • 7. Diana Eck, Harvard University, USA
  • 8.Sanjay Subrahmaniam, University of California at Los Angeles, USA
  • 9.Lawrence Cohen, University of California Berkeley, USA
  • 10.Sasanka Perera, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 11. Jonathan Spencer, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • 12.Flavia Agnes, Legal Center of Majlis, Mumbai, india
  • 13. Harsh Mandar, Aman Biradari, Delhi, india
  • 14. Uma Chakravarty, Independent Scholar, Delhi, India
  • 15.Hent de Vries, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • 16. Ravinder Kaur, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India
  • 17. Nancy Scheper-Hughes, University of California Berkeley, USA
  • 18. Akhil Gupta, University of California Los Angeles, USA
  • 19.Ishita Bannerjee, El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico
  • 20.Nivedita Menon, University of Delhi, India
  • 21.Deepak Mehta, University of Delhi, India
  • 22. Nirja Gopal Jayal, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
  • 23. Srimati Basu, University of Kentucky, USA
  • 24. Pamela Reynolds, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • 25. Perveez Mody, University of Cambridge UK
  • 26. Janaki Abraham, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India
  • 27. Rajni Palriwala, University of Delhi, India
  • 28. Kalpana Kannabiran, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad
  • 29.Stewart Motha, Kent Law School, UK
  • 30. Anand Pandian, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • 31.Vikram Vyas, St. Stephens College, University of Delhi
  • 32.Maria Pia de Bella, CNRS-IRSI-EHESS, Paris
  • 33. Gil Anidjar, Columbia University, USA
  • 34. Lawrence Liang, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore
  • 35 Ranendra K Das, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • 36. Stanley Samarsinghe, Tulane University, USA
  • 37.Kavi Bhalla, Harvard Initiative for Global Health, USA
  • 38.Naveeda Khan, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • 39 C K Raju, Center for Studies in Civilizations, Delhi, India
  • 40. Asha Singh, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, Delhi.
  • 41 Sanjay Barbora, Panos Institute South Asia, Guwahati, India
  • 42.K. Tudor Silva, University of Peradinya, Sri Lanka
  • 43. Ashok Xavier, Loyola College, Chennai, India
  • 44. Rada Ivekovic, College international de philosophie, Paris
  • 45. Vasuki Nesiah, Brown University, USA
  • 46. Nermeen Shaikh, Asia Society, New York, USA
  • 47. Mani Shekhar Singh, Independent Scholar, Delhi
  • 48. Kavita Misra, Columbia University, USA
  • 49. Christopher Stone, Hunter College, New York, USA
  • 50.Arjun Appadurai, New School University, USA
  • 51.Fredrique-Appfel Marglin, Smith College, USA
  • 52. Ailli Trip, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  • 53. Nayanika Mookherjee, Lancaster University, UK
  • 54. Sanjay Reddy, University of Columbia, USA
  • 55.Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago, USA
  • 56. Sanmay Das, Ransellier Polytechnic Institute, USA
  • 57. Mohan Trivedi, University of California, San Diego, USA
  • 58.Kamala Visweswaran, University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • 59.Banu Subramaniam, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA
  • 60.Geeta Patel, University of Virginia, USA
  • 61.Ajay Sakaria, University of Minnesota, USA
  • 62.Gloria Goodwin Raheja, University of Minnesota, USA
  • 63.Farah Aziz, Journalist, Mumbai, India
  • 64.Pankj Mishra, Writer, New York, USA
  • 65.Uday Mehta, Amherst College, USA
  • 66.Qadri Ismail, University of Minnesota, USA
  • 67. Rachel Dwyer, University of London, UK
  • 68. Michael Dwyer, Publisher, London, UK
  • 69.Bhaskar Sarkar, UC Santa Barbara, USA
  • 70.Ashok Dhareshwar, Washington, DC, USA
  • 71.Mahdi Almandrja, University Mohammad V Rabat, Morocco
  • 72. Richard Falk, Princeton University, USA
  • 73. Piya Chatterjee, UC Riverside, USA
  • 74 Ann Grodzins Gold, Syracuse University, New York
  • 75. Sunil Bhavsar, San Diego, California, USA
  • 76.Simone Sawhney, University of Minnesota, USA
  • 77.Gyanendra Pandey, Emory University, USA
  • 78.Sabina Sawhney, Hofstra University, New York, USA
  • 79.Vivek Dhareshwar, Center for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, India
  • 80. Adel Wessell, Southern Cross University, Australia
  • 81. Baden Oxford, Southern Cross University, Australia
  • 82. Indira Chowdhury, ARCH, Bangalore, India.
  • 83. Jerry Pinto, Journalist, Mumbai, India.
  • 84. Andrea Pinto, Librarian, Mumbai, India.
  • 85.Sruti Chaganthi, Center for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, India
  • 86.David Loy, Xavier University, Ohio, USA
  • 87.Jan Obevg, Transnational Foundation, Sweden
  • 88. Vrinda Grover, Marg, Delhi
  • 89.Mahua Sarkar, Binghamton University, USA
  • 90.Joseph Borocz, Rutgers University, USA
  • 91.Megha Subramanian, University of Southern California, LA, USA
  • 92. Nayanika Mookherjee, Lancaster University, UK
  • 93.Pradeep Jeganathan, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 94. Malathi de Alwis, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 95.Ein Lal, Independent Film Maker, Delhi, India
  • 96.Shastri Ramachandran, Journalist, the Tribune, Chandigarh, India
  • 97. Rita Brara, University of Delhi, India.
  • 98. V.Venkatesan, Journalist, Frontline, Delhi
  • 99. Debamitra Kar, Pearson Education, Delhi, India
  • 100.Maitreyi Krishnan, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, India
  • 101.Ponni Arasu, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, India
  • 102.Manoranjani Thomas, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, India
  • 103. Mayur Suresh, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, India
  • 104. Prashant Iyengar, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, India
  • 105. Namita Malhotra, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, India
  • 106. Clifton Rosario, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, India
  • 107. Arvind Narrain, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, India
  • 108. Jiti Nichani, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, India
  • 109. Usha R, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, India
  • 110. Siddhartha Narrian, Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, India
  • 111. Anand Chokhwala, Surat, India
  • 112. Nayana M Trivedi, Scripps Memorial Hospital, San Diego, California, USA
  • 113. Munira A Basnai, NIH, Bathesda, USA
  • 114. Attila Melegh, Corvinus University, Hungary.
  • 115. Gauri Viswanathan, Columbia University, USA
  • 116.Bhrigupati Singh, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • 117. Prerna Singh, Princeton University, USA
  • 118. Saumya Das, Mass. General hospital, Cambridge, USA
  • 119.Ranjini Obesesekere, Independent Scholar, Sri Lanka
  • 120. Sithie Tiruchelvam, Tiruchelvam Associates, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 121.Jonathan Parry, London School of Economics, London, UK
  • 122. Manav Ratti, Oxford University, UK
  • 123. Priyamvada Gopal, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 124.Harsh Pant, King’s College, London, UK
  • 125. Keya Ganguli, University of Minnesota, USA
  • 126. Joshua Castollino, Middlesex University, UK
  • 127. Sudeshna Guha, Univeristy of Cambridge, UK
  • 128. Debjani Ganguli, Australian National University, Australia
  • 129.Kavita Daiya, George Washington University, USA
  • 130. Jonathan Woolf, University of Liverpool, UK
  • 131. Soumhya Venkatesan, University of Manchester, UK
  • 132.Kriti Kapila, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 133. Shirin Rail, University of Warwick, UK
  • 134. Radmila Nakarada, University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • 135. Gul Khattak, Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • 136. Suketu Bhavsar, Cal Poly, Pomona USA
  • 137. Jishnu Das, Center for Policy Research, Delhi, India
  • 138.Swati Chattopadhyay, UC Santa Barbara, USA
  • 139.Dineshwar Tiwari, Deshkal Society, Delhi, India
  • 140. Ranjeet Nirguni, Deshkal Society, Delhi, India
  • 141.Mary JaJehanbegaloo, University of Toronto, Canada
  • 142.. Imtiaz Ahmad, Dhaka University, Bangladesh
  • 143. Shard Chandra Behar, Bhopal, MP, India
  • 144.Arthur Kleinman, Harvard University, USA
  • 145. Aamir Mufti, UC Los Angeles, USA
  • 146.Nauman Naqvi, Brown University, USA
  • 147. Steven Caton, Harvard University, USA
  • 148. Ziauddin Sardar, City University, London, UK
  • 149. Ohashi Masaki, Keisen University, Japan
  • 150. Jessica Marglin Princeton University, USA
  • 151. J. Mohan Rao, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA
  • 152. Sylvia Marcos, Center for Psycho-ethnological Research, Cuernavaca, Mexico
  • 153. Jean Robert, Architect, Mexico
  • 154. Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University, USA
  • 155. Rajeev Bhargav, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
  • 156. Baber Johansen, Harvard University, USA
  • 157. Srirupa Roy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA
  • 158. Fredrique-Apffel Marglin, Smith College, Northampton, USA
  • 159. Shudana Yusaf, Princeton University, USA
  • 160. Sudhir Kakra, Psychoanalyst and Writer, Goa, India
  • 161.Daho Djerba, University of Algeria, Algeria
  • 162. Upendra Baxi, Warwick University, UK
  • 163. Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizen’s Web
  • 164.Govinda Rath, G.B.Pant institute of Social Sciences, Allahabad, India
  • 165.William Connolly, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • 166.Dipankar Gupta, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India
  • 167.Indrani Chatterjee, Rutgers University, Delhi
  • 168. Peter Ronald deSouza, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Simla
  • 169. Triloki Madan, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, India
  • 170. Mara Kamdar, World Policy Institute, New York, USA