Patrice Riemens on Sat, 9 Mar 2002 01:24:41 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Statement of solidarity with Arundhati Roy by students of Delhi University

----- Forwarded message from bonojit hussain <> -----

From: bonojit hussain <>
Subject: [Reader-list] statement
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2002 15:03:14 +0000 (GMT)

Statement in solidarity with the NBA and Arundhati Roy
 From student friends, Delhi University

March is the month when exam ‘terror’ begins to grip
students at Delhi University Despite that some of us
have felt compelled to do the best we could to stand
by the NBA and Arundhati Roy over the last couple of
days. We have done this because

(1) we have had a fairly continuous association with
the valley, its beauty, its people and their 15 years
old  struggle 
(2) we have felt that the NBA, Arundhati Roy, the PUDR
and others including all of us have the right to
critique and rigorously scrutinise any judgment of the
Supreme Court
(3) we have felt that nit-picking aside, none of these
critiques, including Arundhati’s, can be seriously
considered abusive or contemptuous of the Supreme

 For these reasons we felt that if Arundhati Roy were
to be convicted on March 6th for contempt of court--as
she indeed was in an unabashedly gendered judgment--
the conviction would be on flimsy grounds, frightening
people from speaking out their minds rather than
upholding the dignity of the court. Arundhati’s
conviction, would try to silence her, the NBA and all
those people’s movements fighting for creating a
better, more humane tomorrow. Her conviction, in a
way, would be ours as well.

 But there is more that brought us out on to the
streets as volunteers and supporters, this time.  Over
the last few years, but especially since the
happenings of September 11th and December 13th,we as
students have felt walls coming up all around us, fear
driving us into our homes and class rooms. State
encouraged paranoia about terrorism and war with
Pakistan, the sustained onslaught on the very meaning
of education, attempts at enacting new laws such as
POTO, and efforts to politically disarm labour in the
name of ‘labour reforms’, have all been aimed at
creating a submissive, uncritical population which
would be too scared to challenge authority and power,
making it easier for the state to push through its own
economically unfettering and socially irresponsible

The climax came with Godhra and the carnage of Muslims
that followed all over Gujarat. This was no riot. It
was straightforward Genocide. As human beings we had
to say NO now, but we also felt that tomorrow we could
be attacked for simply saying NO. The ABVP did,
infact, carry out an unprecedented attack on our
campus on March 1st last week.

Gujarat for us has been the final straw. Exams or no
exams we knew we had to stand by Arundhati and the NBA
because if we didn’t fight now to protect our right to
speak, tomorrow there may not be any dreamers left.
And our dreams we hold really close to our hearts. So
we came out to be with Arundhati and the NBA and we
hope we will continue to have the courage and stamina
to carry on in battle.   

----- End forwarded message -----

cfm: yrs truly, former student and GoI bursary, DSE/DU

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