The State should not dictate the meaning of “nationalism”, the faculty of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay have said, expressing support for agitating students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

Condemning an “overreach” by the government in various educational institutions and alleged attempts to stifle dissent and suppress differences, IIT Bombay faculty issued a strongly-worded statement.

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“The State cannot dictate on the many meanings of what it is to be ‘Indian’ or mandate the meaning of ‘nationalism’, We are deeply concerned with the recent events that have undermined the autonomy of institutions of higher education in this country. We believe that these institutions are spaces of critical thinking and expression,” it said.

The statement, signed by 42 teachers of the premier institute, said,

“We condemn the overreach of the State in the recent incidents in a number of institutions and the attempts of the right-wing to stifle dissent and suppress differences.”
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Students and teachers of various educational institutions have demanded the release of JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar who was arrested last week in a sedition case that was registered following an event on the campus to protest against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru where anti-India slogans were allegedly raised.