170 Academicians, Activists, Artists and Intellectuals from across India came in support for Harsh Mander


We are releasing a statement in support of Harsh Mander today, June 15, 2020 endorsed by over 170 academicians, activists, artists and intellectuals from across India. From 3pm 16 intellectuals, activists will do facebook lives from their respective facebook profiles/pages in solidarity with Harsh Mander. The list is given at the end of the statement.


In Solidarity With Harsh Mander

We, the undersigned, condemn the manner in which the Delhi Police has mentioned the name of Harsh Mander and other activists, to concoct a ‘chronology’ and create a false narrative about the Delhi riots, in the chargesheet filed by them on FIR No.- 65/2020 of 26/02/2020.

Harsh Mander is a well known Human Rights Defender, a writer and a social activist. Harsh Mander was a civil servant who resigned from his job in the wake of Gujarat violence in 2002 and came forward to work tirelessly to build bridges of love in our society.

He went on to start initiatives for the under-privileged, and religious minorities among others. He founded Aman Biradari and Karavan-E-Mohabbat. Both initiatives have contributed immensely to the betterment of Indian society.

His current efforts to help the migrant workers, who had to tragically flee our cities in the wake of Corona lockdown, are commendable.

In the wake of the Delhi violence (Feb. 2020), Harsh Mander had filed a petition before the Honorable Supreme Court, related to registering of FIRs against political leaders whose inflammatory speeches triggered the violence resulting in over 50 deaths.

Instead of allowing the court to consider the petition, the Solicitor General of India derailed it, and gave a twist to the episode by arguing that Mr. Mander had in fact been contemptuous of the Honorable Supreme Court, and incited violence in a speech he gave at the Jamia Millia Islamia University on December 16th 2020. That speech, given publically, and video recorded, in fact spoke of love and constitutional rights.

The chargesheet now filed by the police continues this false narrative. Under the head – Brief Facts of the Case – Chronology Of Events Leading To Riots In North-East, Delhi (Point 17. Para 4) it says : ”Mr. Harsh Mander, who visited the site on 16/12/19 and instigated the protestors to not have faith in the Supreme Court and to fight their battle on road to get justice. He, however, used a façade of peace in a part of his speech”.

There cannot be anything more ridiculous than saying Harsh Mander used a “façade of peace.” He has devoted his entire life to the cause of peace and harmony in society.

The core part of his speech called for shunning violence and adopting Gandhian means of non violence in the agitation.

This is what he had said:

“What will be the future of this country – you all are the youth – what sort of country do you want to leave for your kids – where will this decision happen? One, it will happen on the streets, we have come out on the streets, but even beyond the streets, there is another place where this decision will take place. Which is the place in which this fight will eventually be decided? That is in our hearts, in my heart, in your heart, we have to give a response – if they want to fill our hearts with hate, if we respond with hate, hatred will become deeper”.

“If someone is attempting to bring darkness to the country, and we also do the same in order to fight, then the darkness will only become more severe. If there is darkness, then the only way that can be fought is by lighting a lamp. And if there is a huge storm, we will light a lamp against the darkness. The only answer we have to their hate is love. They will resort to violence, they will instigate us to indulge in violence but we will never carry out any violence. You must understand that it is their plan to instigate you towards violence so that when we commit 2% violence, they respond with 100%. We have learnt from Gandhi ji how to respond to violence and injustice. We will fight with non-violence. Anyone who instigates you toward violence or hatred, they are not your friends.”

Surely this speech can go down in history as an elaboration of Gandhian principles in  contemporary times. To use this speech to present Harsh Mander as someone instigating violence is  utterly deplorable.

It is a deliberate and motivated attempt to implicate an outstanding peace loving , Gandhi follower, an activist par excellence ,who is walking the path of non violence. This is an attempt to target him, perhaps pull him into the police dragnet of false cases, and silence powerful and effective citizen’s voices against hate, divisiveness and for unity and compassion.

We strongly condemn the motivated, compromised investigation and vilification of a person with commitment to a just society, and demand that this is stopped forthwith.

Endorsed by:

  1. Abha Bhaiya, OBR India coordinator
  2. Abhijit Sen , Former Member of Planning Commission of India
  3. Abuzar Choudhary, Social Activist
  4. Achin Vanaik, Retd. Professor of International Relation, DU
  5. Aditya Mukherjee, historian, JNU
  6. Admiral L Ramdas
  7. Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat
  8. Air Vice Marshal (retd) Kapil Kak
  9. Ajaya Kumar Singh, Bhubaneswar
  10. Anand Chakravarti, Academician, Delhi
  11. Anand Grover, Advocate
  12. Anand majgavkar, social activist, Gujarat
  13. Anjali Hegde, IT professional, Delhi
  14. Annie Raja, National Secretary, NFIW
  15. Anu Chenoy, Professor JNU
  16. Aparna Sen, filmmaker, actress, Kolkata
  17. Apoorvanand , academician, writer, Delhi
  18. Aruna Roy, MKSS, Rajasthan
  19. Arundhati Dhuru, NAPM
  20. Asha Mishra, social activist
  21. Ashok Choudhary, AIUFWP
  22. Ashok Kumar Pandey, poet, writer, Delhi
  23. Asok Barman, former President of AIFUCTO.
  24. Atul Sood, Economist, Professor JNU, Delhi
  25. Rajendra Prasad, Hyderabad
  26. Badri Raina, author, Delhi
  27. Balvir Arora, former Rector of JNU and Prof of Political Science
  28. Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty Internayional’s South Aisa, Director
  29. Brinda Karat, Polit Bureau Member, CPM
  30. Brinelle D’souza, Academic and Activist, Mumbai
  31. Chaman Lal Retd. Professor, JNU and author
  32. Chayanika Shah, Queer Feminist, Mumbai
  33. Deepak Kabir , social-cultural activist ,Lucknow
  34. Dev Desai, social activist, Gujarat
  35. Dhirendra Panda, Convener, Civil Society Forum on Human Rights, Bhubaneswar
  36. Dipa Sinha, social activist, Delhi
  37. Dr Harshvardhan Hedge, orthopedic surgeon, Delhi
  38. Dr Syeda Hameed, former member, Planning Commission, writer, Delhi
  39. Dr. R. Mahalakshmi, Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU
  40. Dr. V.Krishna Ananth, Historian and Journalist
  41. Dr.Hafiz Ahmed, Guwahati , Assam
  42. Faisal Khan, Khudai Khidmatgar
  43. Farah Naqvi, writer & activist, Delhi.
  44. Fr Cedric Prakash, Human Rights Activist, Gujarat
  45. Francis Parmar, Anand, Gujarat
  46. N. Devy, People’s Linguistic Survey of India
  47. Gauhar Raza, retired scientist, filmmaker, poet, Delhi
  48. Geeta Kapur, art historian and critic, Delhi
  49. Geeta Seshu, Co-editor, Free Speech Collective
  50. George Mathew, social scientist, Delhi
  51. Githa Hariharan, writer, New Delhi
  52. Gloria Burrett, Psychotherapist
  53. Gulammohammed Sheikh, artist, Vadodara
  54. Hasina khan , activist and researcher, Mumbai
  55. Himanshu, social activist, Delhi
  56. Inamul Hasan , Khudai Khidmtgar
  57. Indira jaising, Lawyers Collective, Delhi
  58. Indu Prakash Singh, President, Forum against Corruption & Threats (FACT)
  59. Ira Bhaskar, professor, JNU
  60. Irfan Engineer, social activist, CSSS, Mumbai
  61. Jagmati Sangwan, Bheem Awardy, sportswoman, Social Activist, Rohtak
  62. Janaki Nair, Retd Professor, JNU
  63. Javed Anis, Bhopal, Social activist & freelance journalist
  64. Jayati Ghosh, economist, Prof JNU
  65. Jean Dreze, economist,
  66. Jignesh Mevani, Gujarat
  67. Joe Athialy, social activist, Delhi
  68. John Dayal, journalist, Delhi
  69. M. Shrimali, former Professor of History, University of Delhi
  70. Satchidanandan, poet, Kerala
  71. Kalpana Kannabiran, Council for Social Development, Hyderabad
  72. Kamal Chenoy, academician, professor JNU
  73. Kamla Bhasin, feminist activist, Delhi
  74. Kannan Gopinathan, former civil servant, social activist
  75. Kavita Srivastava, PUCL, Jaipur
  76. Kedar Misra, writer, journalist, Bhubaneswar
  77. Kiran Shaheen, social activist, Delhi
  78. KP Sasi , filmmaker, Kerala
  79. Kripal Singh Mandloi , Khudai Khidmtgar
  80. Kumkum Roy, historian, Delhi
  81. Lalita Ramdas, peace activist, writer
  82. Lara Jesani, Advocate, Mumbai
  83. Lata Singh, JNU
  84. Laxmi Murthy, Co-Editor, Free Speech Collective
  85. Leena Dabiru, social activist, Delhi
  86. LS Hardenia, writer, journalist, Bhopal
  87. Madan Gopal Singh, academician, musician, Delhi
  88. Madhuresh Kumar, NAPM
  89. Mahesh Pandya, Gujarat Social Watch
  90. Mallika Sarabhai, dancer, artist, Ahmedabad
  91. Manisha Sethi, Associate Professor, NALSAR
  92. Manjula Pradeep, Human Rights defender, Gujarat
  93. Manoranjan Mohanty, Retired Professor of Political Science, University of Delhi
  94. Mansi Shah, Gujarat
  95. Mansi Sharma, social activist, Delhi
  96. Martin Macwan, social activist, Gujarat
  97. Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan
  98. Meha Khanduri, Human Rights Activist
  99. Mohd Azam, businessman, Hyderabad
  100. Mridula Mukherjee, historian, Delhi
  101. Nandini Sundar, professor DU
  102. Nandita Das, actor, filmmaker, Mumbai
  103. Nandita Narain, professor DU
  104. Naseeruddin Shah, actor, Mumbai
  105. Navjot, artist, Mumbai
  106. Nayantara Sahgal, writer, Dehradun
  107. Neeladri Bhattacharya, historian
  108. Neera Burra, Sociologist
  109. Neera Chandhoke, former professor of political science, Delhi University.
  110. Nikhil Dey, MKSS, Rajasthan
  111. Nilima Sheikh, artist, Vadodara
  112. Nivedita Menon, feminist writer and a professor of political thought at JNU
  113. Pamela Philipose, journalist, Delhi
  114. Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, journalist
  115. Prabir Purkayastha, editor of Newsclick.in.
  116. Pradip Krishen – Writer, New Delhi
  117. Prafulla Samantara, environmental activist, Bhubaneswar
  118. Pramod Yadava, former President of JNUTA
  119. Pravinsinh Jadeja, JDU, Gujarat
  120. Prof Irfan Habib, historiam, Aligarh
  121. Prof. Ankur Sarin, IIM Ahmedabad
  122. Prof. Arun Kumar, economist, retired professor, JNU
  123. Prof. Hemant Shah, economist, Gujarat
  124. Prof. Monirul Hussain, Assam
  125. Prof. Navdeep Mathur, IIM, Ahmedabad
  126. Prof. Prabhat Patnaik, JNU
  127. Prof. Raghavan Rangarajan , Ahmedabad
  128. Prof. Rohit Shukla, academician and economist, Gujarat
  129. Prof. Shah Alam Khan, Professor, AIIMS, New Delhi
  130. Prof. Shireen Moosvi, Aligarh
  131. Prof. Utsa Patnaik, JNU
  132. Prof. Zoya Hasan, former Dean of the School of Social Sciences (SSS), JNU
  133. Rajmohan Gandhi, academician, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi
  134. Rakhi Sehgal, New Delhi
  135. Ram Puniyani, writer, social activist, Mumbai
  136. Ramachandra Guha, historian
  137. Ratna Pathak Shah, Actress, Mumbai
  138. Rohit Prajapati, social activist, Vadodara
  139. Romila Thapar, Historian, Professor Emeritus, JNU, New Delhi.
  140. Ruchira Gupta, journalist, activist
  141. Sadanand Menon – arts editor, teacher of cultural journalism, Chennai
  142. Sadhna Arya, DU, Delhi
  143. Sahba Farooqui, social activist, Delhi
  144. Saheli, women organisation
  145. Sandeep Pandey, Socialist Party (India)
  146. Seema Kurup, Bhopal
  147. Shabana Azmi, Actress, Mumbai
  148. Shabnam Hashmi, social activist, Delhi
  149. Shankar Singh, MKSS, Rajasthan
  150. Shanta Gokhale, writer, theatre critic
  151. Shantha Sinha, Former Chairperson NCPCR
  152. Sohail Hashmi, Writer Film maker, Delhi
  153. Sucheta Mahajan, Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU
  154. Sukumar Muralidharan, journalist, Gurgaon
  155. Sundar Burra (retired civil servant)
  156. Surajit Mazumdar, professor, JNU
  157. Sushant Singh, actor, Mumbai
  158. Uma Chakravarti, feminist historian , writer, Delhi
  159. Upasana Behar, social activist, Bhopal
  160. Urmimala Sarkar, Prof JNU
  161. Uttam Parmar, Kim, Gujarat
  162. Vibhuti Patel, former Head of Department of Economics at SNDT Women’s Univ
  163. Vidya Bhushan Rawat, social activist, Delhi
  164. Vikas Narain Rai, Retd. IPS Officer
  165. Vivan Sundaram, contemporary artist, Delhi
  166. Wilfred Dcosta, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), New Delhi
  167. Yogendra Yadav, Swaraj India
  168. Yogesh Diwan, social activist, Bhopal

The following will do facebook lives at 3pm in Solidarity with Harsh Mander at 3pm

  1. Aditya Mukherjee – https://www.facebook.com/aditya.mukherjee.1029
  2. Deepak Kabir – https://www.facebook.com/deepak.kabir
  3. Fr Cedric Prakash – https://www.facebook.com/cedric.prakash
  4. Gauhar Raza – https://www.facebook.com/GauharRaza2020/
  5. Hemant Shah – https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008214734262
  6. Javed Anis – https://www.facebook.com/javed.anis
  7. Jignesh Mevani – https://www.facebook.com/jigneshmevaniofficial/
  8. John Dayal – https://www.facebook.com/whattgeh
  9. KP Sasi – https://www.facebook.com/kpsasi36
  10. Mallika Sarabhai – https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=664236366
  11. Mridula Mukherjee – https://www.facebook.com/aditya.mukherjee.1029
  12. Prafulla Samantara – https://www.facebook.com/prafulla.samantara
  13. Ram Puniyani – https://www.facebook.com/rampuniyani1945/
  14. Shabnam Hashmi – https://www.facebook.com/shabnamhashmi
  15. Syeda Hameed – https://www.facebook.com/anhadspaces
  16. Uttam Parmar – https://www.facebook.com/uttambhai.parmar.14

Released By ANHAD


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