Students and Faculty at Michigan State University stand with JNU

We, the undersigned students and faculty at Michigan State University, strongly condemn the sedition charges against Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) students, Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Ashutosh Kumar, Anant Prakash and Rama Naga and the use of state force and violence in the arrest and trial against JNU Student Union (JNUSU) president, Kanhaiya Kumar. We oppose the systematic and deliberate attempts by the media, the Indian State, and particular groups to humiliate, intimidate and terrorize the university’s community of scholars and activists. We demand that these attempts to vilify and persecute Umar Khalid, Kanhaiya Kumar and all other students as well as faculty, cease immediately and that all charges against the scholars of JNU be dropped.

We express our solidarity with the JNU community that has responded to the plethora of spiteful attacks with utmost courage, companionship, and an unyielding conviction for peaceful protests in the face of physical violence, media trials, and sectarianism. This stands as a testament to the JNU community’s commitment towards scholarship and activism that raises sharp questions with great intellectual and social responsibility.

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As members of the first public land-grant University in the US, we recognize the constant threat to public education world over. We condemn the ways in which this particular incident is being used to perpetuate a programmatic assault on public educational institutions. We believe in the autonomy of university as an open space for intellectual engagement, debate, critical thought and expression without the fear of censorship and suppression. We express our solidarity to the view that public institutions of higher education must be created and preserved as spaces where caste oppression, racism, gender and minority-exclusion can be challenged and studied to achieve the ultimate goal of liberation for all. To this end, we too struggle persistently on our own campus, www.liberateMSU.com. We believe our freedom is your freedom, and your freedom is our freedom.

We stand in solidarity with JNU’s students and faculty who have so courageously stood up to the onslaught of the Indian state, media and other groups. The attempts to use jingoism as a smokescreen to deflect the questions on caste inequalities, religious violence, poverty, gender inequalities and other pertinent issues will not succeed! We extend our support and solidarity to our colleagues at JNU and all those that #standwithJNU.

List of students and faculty endorsing the statement (in alphabetical order)

Name

Designation

Department

Abhijna Anand

PhD Student

Integrative Biology

Adebiyi Jelili

Student

Adán Quan

Faculty

Anthropology

Ajith Chakkedath

Student

Alwin

Student

Agribusiness

Alyssa Hadley Dunn, Ph.D.

Faculty

Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education

Amy Guenther

Student

Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education

Arfang Dabo

Student

CEPSE/CITE

Ashesh Prasann

PhD Student

Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics

Bethany Laursen

Student

Christian Ramirez

Student

Chicano Latino Studies

Christine E. Thelen

Student

College of Education

Connor M

Student

Cori McKenzie

Student

Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education

Deon Claiborne

Student

Anthropology

Effat Id-Deen

PhD Student

Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education

Erin Alvarez

Student

Chicano Latino Studies

Evan Coleman

Student

Evan Guay

Student

Osteopathic Medicine and Anthropology

Evan Stivers

Student

James Madison College

Gregory Beaudine

Student

Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education

Hamza

PhD Student

Agricultural Economics

Hannah F. Grisham

PhD Student

Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education

Jaerin Kim

Student

Political Science

Jill Manske

PhD Student

College of Education

K. Damery

Student

Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education

K. Wray

Student

Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education

Katie Schenkel

Student

Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education

Kyle Metta

Student

Community Sustainability

Lance Wheatley

Student

Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education

Lynette Guzman

PhD Student

Mauricio Losilla

PhD Student

Max Monroy

PhD Student

Chicano/Latino Studies & College of Education

Meenakshi Narayan

PhD Student

Anthropology

Meredyth Alexander

Student

College of Education

MSU Students United

Student Organization

Mukesh Ray

Student

Agriculture Food and Resource Economics

Muzna Fatima

PhD Student

Nerli Paredes Ruvalcaba

Student

Anthropology

Punya Mishra

Faculty

College of Education

Rachel Trout

Student

Riju Joshi

Student

Economics

Robert Wiedmer

Student

Supply Chain Management

Rohit Mehta

Student

CEPSE

Sambojyoti Biswas

PhD Student

Economics

Scott Jarvie

PhD Student

Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education

Serge Adjognon

Student

AFRE

Tashal Brown

PhD Student

Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education

Udita Sanga

PhD Student

Department of Community Sustainability

Vivek Vellanki

PhD Student

Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education

Ying-Jen Lin

Student

Anthropology