The Professional Staff Congress/CUNY, the union representing 30,000 professors and academic staff at The City University of New York, stands in solidarity with students at Jamia Millia Islamia University as well as with student protestors throughout India in their struggle against state repression of political speech.
On December 15, 2019, Delhi police in riot-gear illegally entered the Jamia Millia campus to unleash a grossly violent attack on students involved in peaceful protests of the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Act, while aiming to grant citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from India’s neighboring countries, singles out Muslims as a group that will not benefit from the Act. The Act faces legal challenges for contravening the right to equality and secular citizenship enshrined in the Indian constitution.
The news of the brutal police crackdown at Jamia Millia involving attacks inside libraries and dorms and gravely injuring more than a hundred students has ignited protests all over the country. Thousands of students at colleges and universities in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Kanpur, Lucknow and other cities are now protesting the treatment of student protestors as well as the discriminatory Citizenship Act.
As fellow members of a university community, we affirm the autonomy of the university as a non-militarized space for freedom of thought and expression. We strongly condemn the brutalization of students peacefully protesting an unjust law and stand in solidarity with the protesters. We join others throughout the world in calling on the Indian government to initiate due action against the unlawful acts of the Delhi police and to start respecting the fundamental right to dissent in a democratic state.
New York City
December 19, 2019