ISA endorses the statement by Indian sociologists

November 15, 2016

Criminal charges against Professor Nandini Sundar

The ISA Executive Committee endorses the statement by Indian sociologists questioning and opposing false charges made against Indian sociologists Nandini Sundar, Archana Prasad and others by the police of the Chattisgarh State. Sundar is an outstanding sociologist that has longstanding positions supporting disadvantage groups in India and elsewhere.

The statement is:
"We sociologists of India are deeply disturbed by the framing of patently false charges of murder, criminal conspiracy and inciting riots against Prof. Nandini Sundar and others by the Chattisgarh Police.

As academics and as sociologists we are required to travel, live in, study and write about a wide variety of communities and their interactions with other institutions, including the state and social movements.   Motivated charges and unwarranted state actions are a direct attack on our ability to fulfill our professional responsibilities freely and fearlessly.
We note with concern the increasing incidents of attempts to intimidate or falsely accuse members of our profession, be it Prof. Vivek Kumar in Gwalior, Prof. Rajesh Mishra in Lucknow or Prof. M.N. Panini in Jharkhand.

As sociologists we are forced to condemn the growing nation-wide trend towards the stifling of all voices of dissent from academia, the media, and cultural and literary practitioners.  Disabling independent research and silencing contrary views undermines the collective ability to build a better future.

We appeal to the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers of various States of the country to uphold the freedom to do critical academic research and thereby enrich the work done in India by sociology, and the social sciences more generally, for the last hundred years and more."

The full Statement and signatories are available on E Social Sciences.