Special Correspondent, The Hindu
12 July 2010
NEW DELHI: The India chapter of the international movement to campaign for academic and cultural boycott of Israel has been formed by a group of intellectuals.
“Just as it was in the case of the international call against South Africa in the apartheid years, we are confident that this boycott will be effective in contributing to international pressure on Israel to abandon its oppression and expulsion of the indigenous population based on military aggression, legal discrimination and persecution and economic stranglehold,” said an appeal made by the ‘Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.’
“In a reality in which the Israeli state daily tramples on the academic freedom and cultural life of Palestinian people, a continued association with the instruments of such a state is unconscionable. When Palestinian students and teachers are not allowed to reach their universities, universities and schools are levelled by bombs and tanks, textbooks are prohibited from entering the Gaza, and artistic events closed down in Jerusalem, none of the foundational principles on which academic and cultural contact are based can ever be fulfilled. … We have come together to form the India Chapter of this international movement,” the intellectuals said. They appealed to academics and artists to join the cause “which has become even more urgent today, when our nation’s foreign policy has abandoned the ideals of self-determination and anti-colonialism.”
The appeal was signed by Upendra Baxi and Vina Mazumdar (patrons); Aesha Kidwai, Gargi Sen and Mohan Rao (conveners); and Praful Bidwai, Uma Chakravarthy, C.P. Chandrasekhar, Rohan D’Souza, Saba Dewan, Jayati Ghosh, Githa Hariharan, Zoya Hasan, Moloyshree Hashmi, Mushirul Hassan, Nuzhat Kazmi, Farida Khan, S.N. Malakar, Rita Manchanda, Aditya Nigam, Prabhat Patnaik, Prabir Purkayastha, Arundhati Roy, Nandini Sundar, Achin Vanaik and Vikram Vyas.