Harsh Kapoor on Fri, 26 Apr 2002 23:14:25 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Statement on Gujarat by the participants at the 'Siting Secularism Conference', 21 April 2002 (Qberlin College, Ohio, USA)

Press Statement  regarding Gujarat issued by the participants at the 
'Siting Secularism Conference', 21 April 2002, Oberlin College, 
Oberlin, Ohio, USA. (http://www.oberlin.edu/~shansi/conference/)

We the participants of the Siting Secularism conference express our 
serious concern at the state-sponsored pogrom launched against 
Muslims  of Gujarat for over 45 days now.

The incident at Godhra shocked us all and was immediately condemned 
by various religious and human rights organisations. However, we 
unequivocally condemn the cynical use of that incident by the RSS, 
BJP, VHP and Bajrang Dal and the Gujarat state machinery to justify 
the massacre that followed.

Several fact-finding reports have revealed the pre meditated nature 
of the violence and the planned targetting of Muslim lives and 
businesses with the full backing and connivance of the police and 
state administration. Every government official who took a principled 
position has been targeted, harassed and transferred. There is also 
no doubt that the VHP and the RSS have been the primary organisers of 
the carnage in Gujarat.

We are deeply alarmed by the continued refusal of the Indian 
government to take action against the  government of of Gujarat 
headed by Mr. Narendra Mody and by the recent public pronouncements 
of India's Prime Minister Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee describing the 
Muslim communities of India and elsewhere as trouble makers.

We are equally concerned at the prospect of elections being held in 
the state of Gujarat under the present conditions where the Muslim 
community is in a state of siege.

We call upon all Indians to:

- Put pressure on the Prime Minister of India to dismiss the 
government of Mr. Narendra Mody and commence criminal proceedings 
against the Gujarat government and Sangh parivar organisations.
- Expose the use to which donations to the VHP are being put, 
especially from abroad.
- Build  Sub continental solidarities with others involved in 
contesting and fighting religious intolerance and the politics of 
religious hatred in South Asia

Signed by:
Gauri Viswanathan (Professor of English and Comparative Literature, 
Columbia University, New York, USA)
Partha Chatterjee (Professor of Political Science and Director, 
CSSSC, Calcutta, India)
Shyam Benegal (Film maker, Bombay, India)
Nira Benegal (Bombay, India)
Mushirul Hasan (Director, Academy of Third World Studies , Jamia 
Milia Islamia, New Delhi)
Kum Kum Sangari  (Nehru Memorial Library, New Delhi, India)
Ravi S. Vasudevan (Fellow,Centre for the Study of Developing 
Societies, New Delhi, India)
Nivedita Menon (Delhi University, India)
Ravina Agarwal (Assoc. Professor of Anthropology, Smith College, USA)
Rachel Sturman (Asst. Professor of South Asian History; Fellow, 
Society of Fellows, University of Michigan, USA)
Upendra Baxi  (Professor of Law, University of Warwick, UK)
Akeel Bilgrami (Professor of Philosophy , Columbia University, New York, USA)
Gyan Prakash (Professor of History, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA)
Gyanendra Pandey (Professor of Anthropology and History, Johns 
Hopkins University, USA)
Anuradha Dingwaney Needham (Professor, Oberlin College, Ohio, USA)
Tadhg Foley (Professor, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland)
Anupama Rao (Asst. Professor, History, Barnard College, Columbia 
University, USA)
Shabnum Tejani (Lecturer, Barnard College, Columbia University, USA)
Tayyab Mahmud (Professor of Law, Cleveland State University, Ohio, USA)
Raza Mir (Professor of Management, Monmouth University, USA)
Ali Mir ( Assoc. Professor of Information Systems, Monmouth University, USA)
Biju Mathew (Prof. of Information Systems, Rider University, USA)
Srimati Basu (Asst. Professor, Anthropology, De Pauw University, Indiana, USA)
Satish Koluri (Pace University, New York)
Zoe Shernin (Asst. Professor Music, University of Oklahoma, USA)
Bhasker Sarkar ( Asst. Professor, Film Studies, UC Santa Barbara, USA)
Amitava Kumar (Assoc. Professor, English, Penn State University, USA)
Bishnupriya Ghosh (Assistant Professor, English, UC Davis, USA)
Manu Bhagvan, ( Asst. Professor Manchester College, USA)
Shuchi Kapila (Asst. Professor, Keynon College, Ohio, USA)
Sanjay Ruparelia (Cambridge University, UK)
Wendy Kazd (Assoc. Professor, Oberlin College, Ohio, USA)
Jennifer Bryan (Asst. Professor, Oberlin College, Ohio, USA)
Ravindran Sriramachandran (Columbia University, New York, USA)
Sivakumar Arumugam (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Teena Purohit (Columbia University, New York, USA)
Neelam Srivastava ( Student, Oxford University, UK)
Poornima Paidipaty (Columbia University, New York, USA)
Malavika Kasturi (History Dept., Oberlin College, Ohio)
Priya Kumar (Asst. Professor, University of Iowa, USA)
Arvind Rajagopal (Assoc. Professor New York University, USA)
Josna Rege (English Department, Dartmouth College, New York)
Rajan Krishnan (Columbia University, New York, USA)
Amardeep Singh (Lehigh University, USA)
Christi A Merrill (Asst. Professor South Asian Literature, University 
of Michigan, USA)
Jyotika Virdi (Asst. Professor, film/media studies, University of 
Windsor, Canada)
Harsh Kapoor (South Asia Citizens Web, France)
Dwaipayan Sen (Oberlin College, Ohio, USA)
Shahana Siddiqui (Oberlin College, Ohio, USA)
Rashne Limki (Oberlin College, Ohio, USA)
Pamela de Bourg (Oberlin College, Ohio, USA)
Sarah Green (Oberlin College, Ohio, USA)
Morgon Williams ( Oberlin College, Ohio, USA)

[ The above statement is available on the Web at : 
http://www.mnet.fr/aiindex/OberlinStatementApr2002.html ]

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