Over 150 Concerned Citizens Sign Solidarity Statement Supporting The Striking TISS Students

A Solidarity Statement signed by more than 150 persons including activists, academicians, TISS-alumni, scholars, intellectuals, journalist, writers, teachers, lawyers, artists, filmmakers, students, researchers, professionals and others concerned citizens has supported the students movements and their rightful demands in all the four campuses of TISS. Radhika Vemula, the mother of former Hyderabad Central University scholar Rohith Vemula – who was institutionally murdered – has supported the fight of TISS students. The eminent signatories to the letter included three former TISS professors – Chhaya Datar a well known social worker and former head of Women’s Studies in TISS, Tribal scholar Virginius Xaxa the former Deputy Director of TISS Gawahati and former member of planning commission of India as well as Bela Bhatia former professor at TISS-Mumbai. One current visiting faculty at TISS Stalin K. Padma has also signed the document.
Other eminent personnel include Dalit scholar Ghanshayam Shah; former IIT Mumbai professor Ram Puniyani; former Delhi university professor Shamshul Islam; well known anthropologist Felix Padel; human rights defender and activist Teesta Setalvad, Shabnam Hasmi, Sandhya Gokhale, Mini Mathew, Sujata Gothoskar, Swatija Paranjape, Henri Tiphange, John Dayal, Irfan Engineer, Subash Gatade, Kavita Krishnan and Goldy M. George; filmmaker K.P. Sasi and Ajay T.G; environmentalists Sreedhar Ramamurthi and Priya Pillai; writers Amit Sen Gupta, Freny Manecksha, Sanjeev Khudshah and Vidya Bhushan Rawat; and editors Binu Mathew, Vivek Sakpal, Akash Poyam and Anil Gaikwad.
The solidarity statement was well received by people from different sections of society. All signatories endorsed the letter supporting the ongoing struggle of students from oppressed, marginalised, exploited and suppressed sections. Apart from the length and breadth of India, the statement has received representation from different parts of the world including USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, Poland, Denmark, Zambia and Australia. The signatories had echoed their support to the charter of demands by the struggling students in all the four TISS campus. The signatories to the statement have called upon the Government of India, all the different state Governments and the TISS administration to –
1. Take immediate action to reinstate the post-matric scholarship meant for students from different marginalised sections.
2. TISS administration should stop harassment of students by instant pressure tactics of fees hike.
3. Both the central and state governments should take adequate steps to immediately release the funds and backlogs to premier institutions like TISS.
4. The state governments should stop comparing TISS with colleges in the local area.
5. Stop spreading hatred in the campuses and politicising the students on caste, religious, ethnicity, gender, class and regional factors.
6. Release the backlog fund for the welfare of the students from weaker sections of Indian society across universities of India.
7. Uphold the space for scientific and rationale though development, freedom of individuals and in understanding the nuances of society in a critical manner.
8. Stop the attempts to saffronise educational institutions and campuses.
9. Reinstate the Schools and Centres on Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy.
10. Ensure the fulfilment of constitutional and democratic rights of students from SC, ST, OBC, Minority and other special categories.
The full statement and the list of signatories is given in the Solidarity Statement
Dr. Goldy M. George
(On behalf of the signatories)
SOLIDARITY STATEMENT
WE THE UNDERSIGNED ACTIVISTS, ACADEMICIANS, ALUMNI, SCHOLARS, INTELLECTUALS, JOURNALISTS, WRITERS, TEACHERS, LAWYERS, ARTISTS, FILMMAKERS, STUDENTS, RESEARCHERS, PROFESSIONALS AND OTHER CONCERNED CITIZENS STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE AGITATING STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS ACROSS THE FOUR CAMPUSES OF TATA INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES.
Education is the medium to attain the highest order of human wisdom. All education, including streams of pure and social sciences should mandatorily be non-discriminatory and accessible for all citizens in all ways across the globe. As an institutional mechanism, education should directly or indirectly, serve the interest of furthering non-discriminatory practices, human rights, irrespective of class, caste, gender, race, ethnicity, religious or sexual orientation or physical or mental disability. Thus one could come to point that the purpose of all education is to sensitise, to humanise, to take humanity to higher levels of knowledge, awareness, freedom and social responsibility. However the story in hand has something different to tell.
Students across the four campuses of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai, Tuljapur, Hyderabad and Gawahati had gone on strike since February 21, 2018. All classes remained empty since then. While the issues around student aid have been raised for more than a year now, the last few days have seen large-scale protests at all TISS campuses. In 2016, what initially began as the struggle of some students from Dalit-Adivasi sections in TISS has over time become a mass protest. The student union of TISS has called for a complete boycott of lectures, field work, assignment and even examination. This is the first time that students’ union has backed any dissent from the students belonging to the deprived category. This time the protest began simultaneously on February 21 at all four TISS campuses – Mumbai, Tuljapur, Hyderabad and Guwahati – against the institute’s decision to stop student aid to those belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) from 2016 onwards.
The Story of Reservation
Reservation is a fundamental right as per Indian Constitution, which has been time and again under severe threat under the pretext of merit and upper caste demand. Reservation in the educational institutions and the financial assistance in the form of scholarships and freeships constitute perhaps the most important factor in the development scheme for people from historically oppressed, marginalised and exploited background. For, it is primarily responsible to make the basic input of education available to them. Without education, all the constitutional safeguards including the reservation in services would be infructuous.
The Reforms have already resulted in freezing the grants to many institutions and in stagnating, if not lowering, the expenditure on education. The free market ethos has entered the educational sphere in a big way. Commercialisation of education is no more a mere rhetoric; it is now an established fact. Commercial institutions offering specialised education signifying the essential input from utilitarian viewpoint have come up in a big way from cities to small towns. Their product-prices are not only based on the demand-supply consideration in their market segment but also are manipulated by their promotional strategies. In a true spirit of globalisation, many foreign universities have already invaded the educational spheres through hitherto unfamiliar strategic alliances with non-descript commercial agencies, of course at hefty dollar equivalent prices.
The TISS Story
TISS students had undergone a difficult phase for the past half a decade, more specifically in the last two years. This is in particular with the question of accessing the benefits under reservation. One after another social groups were targeted which has now reached a standstill state. Established by the Union government’s Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the post-matriculation scholarship scheme has long been the economic spine that has supported students from marginalised communities who venture into higher education. These funds helped the students from socially backward and economically weaker sections to overcome the hurdle of increasing tuition fees, hostel cost and dining hall charges at the institute, which would have otherwise made it difficult for them to continue their studies. This scheme is now in jeopardy. The apathy of the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government has been exacerbated by the present Bharatiya Janata Party regime.
At the beginning of the 2017 academic year, the TISS administration suddenly announced that it would charge dining hall and hostel fees from everyone – including the Government of India-Post Matriculation Scholarship (GOI-PMS) students belonging to SC and ST categories. According to this circular, the students who were then in the second year of the two years masters programme also had to pay. Though this issue has been consistently in debate since 2010 onwards in some form or other, it came up in a big way during the present Modi regime, when it began to target the scholarship to student from specific social groups. In 2015, the institute withdrew financial aid to students belonging to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) (non-creamy layer), and statistics shows that the representation of OBCs in the institute has taken a hit.
About six months ago, a delegation of SC, ST and OBC students had met the minister of state for social justice and empowerment, Ramdas Athawale, and discussed their issues in detail. In this meeting, we were assured that our issues would be taken up on a priority basis and we would not be made to pay. While that conversation is still on, the institute went ahead with exerting pressure and demanding fees from the students. Most students will have to drop out if the administration does not relent.
Reservation Rhetoric and Foul game
Over the years, the Union Finance Ministry has continuously rejected the financial demands placed by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment. This means that the department has a fraction of the amount it requires to disburse as post-matriculation scholarships across India. A deposition before the standing committee on social justice and empowerment by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment said that this has resulted in aggrandising the arrears. The report says, “Scheme of Post Matric Scholarships for SCs in which there are pending arrears to the tune of approximately Rs 8000 crores” for the 2017-18 financial year. The standing committee report, presented in Parliament last March, notes that “the Department submitted a requirement of Rs 10355.71 crores to the Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure. In response to this the department allocated only Rs 6,908.00 crores for the financial year 2017-18.”
Targeting TISS
TISS has been on target for a longer period. Apart from the withdrawal of scholarship for the OBC student – which the TISS administration accounted it to be the fault of the government – there are several other instances of targeting student from Adivasi sections. In 2015, the name of TISS was deleted from the online application procedure for students belonging to ST category doing their MPhil and PhD programmes. The fellowship original known as Rajeev Gandhi National Fellowship for ST students (RGNF) was renamed as National Fellowship for Higher Education of ST Students (NFST). In the online list, the name of TISS was missing from the list of eligible institutions.
Priyanka Sandilya one of the Adivasi PhD scholars went on to write to the Jual Oram, the Minister of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and to the Chairperson of National Commission for Scheduled Tribe (NCST). She wrote, ‘all the four campuses of TISS (Mumbai, Tuljapur, Hyderabad and Gawhati) has been dropped from the national list, leaving them to loose their constitutional rights to avail scholarships.’ She refers to the pattern of prohibiting Adivasi scholars from some particular institutions like TISS to apply for legitimate scholarship. With the removal of TISS from the UGC’s list, many Adivasi Scholars enrolled for doctoral studies at TISS have been left staggering without any support.
According to the letter, ‘we have been deprived of applying under the UGC scheme… In the online application form of NFST, the name of Tata Institute of Social Sciences did not appear in the list of eligible universities, due to which, many ST students could not apply and some have applied leaving the Institute name blank in the online application form. As Adivasi Students, we are eligible to apply under this scheme, but we are being deprived of being considered for the award of the Fellowship.’
It could be seen that this has been a trend in the neo-liberal phase of Indian economy where the most marginalised ones are the first victims of this development politics, particularly in the field of education. It is under these compulsions that the students’ current movement in TISS attains importance and relevance. The demands are genuine by all legal and logical measure upheld by the Constitution of India.
Another trend has crept since 2014. The University Grand Commission (UGC) has sent circulars to many universities including TISS demanding the details of students from particular sections. This was done at the behest of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). These include Adivasis, Dalits, Muslim minorities and those who are part of communist or communist-like students’ organisations. This highly confidential circular to the Vice Chancellors demanded for their addresses, photographs, courses undertaken with the particular university, parental details, etc. The right wing government wants to completely wipe of any sort of dissent against it’s regime and has put in place all sorts of systems against those who resist the anti-people policies of the government. In a way it is to trap students into a cobweb and stamp them as terrorists, extremists and anti-nationals. Many students from these sections were under severe threat for being from these social groups.
There are many circumstances where the students and scholars are no more the free-beings within university premises. Universities are the global spaces where free mind and free thinking are developed. It goes beyond the state’s notion of academics and also engages with the society in a critical manner. In this way the delimitation of spaces for the evolution and development of free minds and spaces put forth an array of critical questions on the very notion of scientific approach and free thinking of the university spaces.
Third, one of the most critical schools/centres in all Indian university have been notified for a closure. The School/Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP) in all the universities are supposed to close down including TISS. This has been one of the most critical schools/ centres with critical outlook on socio-economic, cultural and political systems, particularly the continuity of disparities based on caste, class, ethnicity, gender, racial, religious, regional and sexual orientation. The students, scholars and faculty members are already under the threat of loosing these space in terms of education as well as employment.
TISS Students – Fighting Discrimination
The students in TISS are creating a new history with such a long strike that has never happened in the past. Their fight is not just against the TISS administration, but at large against the system that deprives and discriminates student alongwith their family members from accessing the benefits of reservation. It is a fight against the systemic reinstatement of caste system under the aegis of Hindutva. It is to be kept in mind that for the past three years, all progressive, democratic and secular spaces are consistently under threat, more specifically within the educational and academic sector. Within the Indian campuses there has been a war-like situation among the students groups over the past few years, particularly with that of the right wing ideology. Excessive attempts have been made to completely saffronise the educational curriculum, syllabus and other aspects, which the students across the country have resisted strongly.
Under these contexts the demands put forth by the students of TISS attains not just importance within the institute but also national and international relevance on how scientific thought processes are completely blocked.
The Demand of Students
The demands as raised by the students are as follows –
1. Withdrawal of Fees Hike.
2. Reinstatement of freeship/ scholarship for Dalit (SC), Adivasi (ST) and OBC (non-creamy layer) students under reservation policy.
3. Nationally bring an end to policies undermining Social Justice.
4. Stop privatisation of education and educational institutions across India.
SC-ST Funds Diverted or Underutilisation
While at one end there is a lack of allocation of funds from the Central Finance Ministry, on the other, the funds under SC sub-plan and ST sub-plan have been consistently diverted or underutilised in most of the states. Some media reports indicate that the funds allocated in the Adivasi dominant states, such as Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha, have not been able to spend their fund allocation beyond 11 percent. Few reports suggest that money for educational support under pre and post matric scholarship were diverted into the anti-insurgency operations in constructing roads, deployment of security forces and their subsidiary expenditures. The state governments have been playing a big foul play in this entire display.
There are clear cases of fund underutilisation. For instance a student from Chhattisgarh studying in TISS would get only Rs. 7500/- as fees annually for doing a course in the institution, while the fees is almost a lakh rupees. The argument placed is pretty mindless, beyond any rational imagination. According to this argument, a student studying in TISS is eligible to avail only the amount, at par with another student from his or her home district, doing a similar course in a local government college. This means that if a student from Bastar studies in TISS, his course cost would be only the fees that another student from Bastar has to pay. The government authorities argue that this would prevent “discrimination’ in fund allocation for other students. There cannot be a special category of ‘premier’ and ‘non-premier’ institutions. All are being treated “equal” is the best argument. Perhaps if a student gets admission for MA in New York University, then he or she has to take Rs. 7500/- annually as the course fee.
It has remained the same with most of the states, where the students from SC, ST and OBC category are treated as beggars on whom the government is doing some sort of a charity. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has come up with a clear verdict that the government should release the total amounts of fees to the students belonging to SC category including tuition fees, hostel fees, mess fees and any other eligible fees charged by the institution. It has also added that the students should be also assisted by a decent living cost. This means the ‘non-discriminatory’ argument of Chhattisgarh government does not have a locus standi.
Such a situation of non-deliverance of substantial monetary assistance, despite being allocated from the centre, has already led institutions like TISS into a perennial debt trap. But TISS has never figured out the ways and means to come out of it. It would have been better had it supported the students cause by engaging in a negotiation with the government bodies and ministries. Instead of doing anything such the institution, in turn has put more pressure on the students to bring more money from their homes.
These situations are really threatening for the sustenance of a healthy democratic nation, where students from particular sections are denied the right to study. Under these circumstances, we call upon the government of India, all the different state governments and the TISS administration to –
1. Take immediate action to reinstate the post-matric scholarship meant for students from different marginalised sections.
2. TISS administration should stop harassment of students by instant pressure tactics of fees hike.
3. Both the central and state governments should take adequate steps to immediately release the funds and backlogs to premier institutions like TISS.
4. The state governments should stop comparing TISS with colleges in the local area.
5. Stop spreading hatred in the campuses and politicising the students on caste, religious, ethnicity, gender, class and regional factors.
6. Release the backlog fund for the welfare of the students from weaker sections of Indian society across universities of India.
7. Uphold the space for scientific and rationale though development, freedom of individuals and in understanding the nuances of society in a critical manner.
8. Stop the attempts to saffronise educational institutions and campuses.
9. Reinstate the Schools and Centres on Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy.
10. Ensure the fulfilment of constitutional and democratic rights of students from SC, ST, OBC, Minority and other special categories.
WE REMAIN IN SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT WITH THE STUDENTS’ IN TISS CAMPUSES
1. Dr. Goldy M. George, Human Right Activist/ Writer/ Researcher, Chief Editor, Journal of People’s Studies, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2. Dr. Sujatha Surepally, Principal, University Arts College, Satavahana University, Karimnagar, Telengana, India
3. Radhika Vemula Mother of Rohith Vemula, Activist & Humanist, Andhra Pradesh, India
4. Dr. Ram Puniyani, Author/ Commentator, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
5. Dr. Virginius Xaxa, Professor of Eminence, Tezpur University, Assam, India
6. Dr. Ghanshyam Shah, Independent Researcher, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
7. Dr. Chhaya Datar, Ex-Professor & Head, Women’s Studies in TISS, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
8. Cynthia Stephen, Co-Founder, Dalit Women’s Network for Solidarity, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
9. Dr. B. Karthik Navayan, Human Rights Activist, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
10. Dr. K. Valentina, Assistant Professor, School of Business, Public Policy and Social Entrepreneurship, Ambedkar University, Delhi, India
11. Dr. Bela Nawaz, Assistant Professor, Sahid Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
12. Dr. Salina V. Sreenivasan, Assistant Professor, SAEBTM Government College, Koyilandy, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
13. Laxmidhar Singh, General Secretary, All India Ho Language Action Committee, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, India
14. Dr. Sreedhar Ramamurthi, Executive Director, Environics Trust, New Delhi, India
15. Dr. Pushkar Raj, Coordinator, CSR Global Peace Project, Australian Centre for Education & Training, Melbourne, Australia
16. Amit Sen Gupta, Independent Journalist, New Delhi, India
17. Dr. Felix Padel, Independent Writer, New Delhi, India
18. Dr. Bela Bhatia, Human Rights Activist and Researcher, former faculty at TISS, Jagdalpur, Bastar, Chhattisgarh, India
19. Freny Manecksha, Independent Journalist, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
20. Dr. Piya Chatterjee, Chair, FGSS, Scripps College, Claremont Consortium, California, USA
21. Teesta Setalvad, Lawyer, Journalist, Activist, Educationist, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
22. Dr. Samarendra Das, Senior Research Associate, University of Sussex, London, UK
23. Prabhakar Gwal, Former CJM of Sukma, Mahasamund, Chhattisgarh, India
24. Pradeep Esteves, Context India, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
25. Max Ediger, Peace Activist, USA
26. Dr. Madhumita Ray, Assistant Professor, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, India
27. Dr. Baiju Vareed, Social Work Instructor, Red Deer College, Red Deer Alberta, Canada
28. Vivek Sakpal, Editor, People’s Voice, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
29. Vidya Bhushan Rawat, Activist/ Writer, New Delhi, India
30. Inji Pennu, Global Voices and Global Advocacy, San Diego, California, USA
31. Akhilesh Edgar, Coordinator, Working Committee, Chhattisgarh Citizens’ Joint Action Committee, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
32. Xavier Dias, Activist, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
33. Phylis Zeenath Sathar, Artist, Durban, South Africa
34. Sharanya, Humane Koraput, Odisha, India
35. Subhadra Dora, Convenor, Regional Initiative for Tribal Empowerment and Solidarity, Malkangiri, Odisha, India
36. Ajay T G, Independent Filmmaker, Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, India
37. Dr. Ganesh Digal, Post Doctoral Fellow, Council of Social Development, Hyderabad, Telengana, India
38. Sanjeev Khudshah, Writer, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
39. Halima Abdullah, Interfaith Cooperation Forum, Mindanao, Philippines
40. Ashok Shrimali, Coordinator, Setu Centre for Social Knowledge and Action, Ahmedbad, Gujarat, India
41. Dr. Qudsia Anjum, President, Mahila Sanstha Parcham, Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
42. Akash Poyam, Editor, Adivasi Resurgence, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
43. Obed Manwatkar, Volunteer, Truthseekers International, PhD Scholar, Sam Higinbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
44. Augustine Veliath, Chairperson, Nonviolence Foundation, New Delhi, India
45. Sherwani Amir Khan, Odisha Shramajeebee Mancha, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, India
46. Makarand Purohit, Freelance Documentary Filmmaker, Durg, Chhattisgarh, India
47. Heenrani Nayak, Mahila Shramjeebee Mancha-Odisha, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, India
48. Sagaya Shanthy, Visthar, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
49. Dr. Preshit Nemdas Ambade, PhD Candidate University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizon, USA
50. Gopabandhu Sika, Vice President, Mulnivasi Students & Youth Front, Bargarh, Odisha, India
51. Meesha Bhagat, PhD Scholar, University of Jammu, Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir, India
52. Hemangi Kadlak, PhD Scholar, TISS, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
53. Sheetal Dinakar Kamble, PhD Scholar, TISS, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
54. Sufi Hussain, PhD Scholar, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan
55. Shabana Ali, PhD Scholar, School of Art and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
56. Zeeshan Husain, PhD Scholar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
57. Dishani Roy, Student, BA Sociology (Honours), Presidency University, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
58. Bobby Kunnu, Lawyer, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
59. Raya Steier, California, USA
60. Pramila K. P., PhD Scholar, Central University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, Telengana, India
61. Dr. John Dayal, Editor and Activist, New Delhi, India
62. Hemanta Dalapati, Poet/ Writer, Malkangiri, Odisha
63. Christopher Rajkumar, Executive Secretary, NCCI-Unity and Mission, National Council of Churches in India, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
64. Susmita Pradhan, Director, Madheya Memorial Charitable Trust, Patna, Bihar, India
65. Nivedita Dwevedi, Independent Writer, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
66. Anmol Sharma, IBM India, Currently Student at TISS, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
67. Binu Mathew, Editor, Countercurrents, Kochi, Kerala, India
68. Henri Tiphange, National Working Secretary, Human Rights Defenders Alert & All India Network of Individuals and NGOs working with National and State Human Rights Institutions, New Delhi, India
69. Romal Laisram, Founder, Queer Arts Movement, India, Bengaluru, Karnataka India
70. Dr. Shiva Shankar, Faculty, Chennai Mathematical Institute, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
71. Mohd. Azhardin Ganayee, Researcher, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
72. Ranjani R., BA Psychology (Honours), Avinashilingam Deemed University, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India
73. Malvika Gupta, DPhil Student, Department of International Development, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
74. Uma Prakash Ojha, President, Prayas, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
75. Shabnam Hasmi, Director, ANHAD, New Delhi, India
76. Neelima Sharma, Theatre Activist, New Delhi, India
77. Dr. Shamsul Islam, Author, New Delhi, India
78. William Stanley, Facilitator, IRDWSI/ WIDA, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
79. Durga Jha, Coordinator, Chhattisgarh Mahila Adhikar Manch, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
80. Vishwas B Sonawale, PhD Scholar, TISS, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
81. Balaji V Chavan, President, Marathwada Gramin Vikas Kendra, Nandgaon, Beed, Maharashtra, India
82. David Haslam, Founding Trustee, Dalit Solidarity Network, Evesham, UK
83. Dr. Ish Mishra, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Hindu College, University of Delhi, Delhi, India
84. Kavita Krishnan, Secretary, AIPWA, New Delhi, India
85. R. Manohar, Regional Coordinator, All India Network of NGOs and Individuals Working with National and State Human Rights Institutions, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
86. Naaman Kipumbu, Lecturer, Gideon Robert University, Lusaka, Zambia
87. Guddu Lahre, General Secretary, Dalit Mukti Morcha, Chhattisgarh, India
88. Vijay Raj Boudh, National Coordinator, National Dalit Youth Front, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
89. Sanjay Jyothe, PhD Scholar, School of Development Studies, TISS, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
90. Santosh Banjare PhD Scholar, Centre for Diaspora Studies, Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
91. Sasi K. P., Independent Filmmaker, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
92. Joel John, Student, Engineering, GIACR College, Rayagada, Odisha, India
93. P. C. John, Hostel-in-Charge, Agency for the Development of Oppressed through Relief and Education, Rayagada, Odisha, India
94. Ambedkar Sodabattina, IHRE-PARA State Coordinator, Hyderabad, Telengana, India
95. Ranjib Kumar, Journalist, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
96. Amit Singh, Human rights researcher, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal
97. Immanuel S., Executive Secretary; Political And International Desk, Student Christian Movement of India, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
98. Dr. Alwyn Prakash D’Souza, Head, Human Rights Unit, Indian Social Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
99. Stalin K. Padma, Filmmaker, Activist & visiting faculty at TISS-Mumbai, Director, Video Volunteers, Goa, India
100. Bhante Suniti, Secretary, All India Bhikkhuni Sangha, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
101. Vikas Ram, PhD Scholar, South Asian Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
102. Savio Rathod, Assistant Manager Hiring, Star India Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
103. Dr. George Zachariah, Academician, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
104. Ashok Choudhury, Founder, All Indian Union of Forest Working People, New Delhi, India
105. N. Jeyaraman, Human Rights Activist, People’s Watch, Madurai, Tamilnadu, India
106. Nancy Adajania, Cultural Theorist and Curator, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
107. Meera Sanghamitra, National Alliance of People’s Movements, Hyderabad, Telengana, India
108. Sandhya Gokhale, Activist, Forum Against Oppression of Women, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
109. Subash Gatade, General Secretary, New Socialist Initiative, New Delhi, India
110. Dr. Virendra Vidrohi, General, Secretary, Indian Social Action Forum, New Delhi, India
111. Lara Jesani, Lawyer, Bombay High Court, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
112. Mini Mathew, Lawyer, Bombay High Court, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
113. Irfan Engineer, Member, All India Secular Forum, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
114. Nilanjani Tandon, Lawyer, New Delhi, India
115. Vahida Nainar, Solidarity with TISS Students, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
116. Dolphy D’souza, Convenor, Police Reforms Watch, CHRI, New Delhi, India
117. Jai Sen, Researcher and Writer, New Delhi, India
118. Elancheran T.S., Member, Executive Committee, Ambedkar King Study Circle, Sunnyvale, California, USA
119. Shujayathulla E, Research Associate, Indian Social Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
120. Dr V N Sharma, Chairman, Federation of Retired SAIL Employees, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
121. Shukla Sen, Peace Activist, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
122. Sujata Gothoskar, Activist and Writer, Member, Forum Against Oppression of Women, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
123. Arunank Latha, State General Secretary, Democratic Students’ Union, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
124. Abhay Xaxa, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, New Delhi, India
125. Dhirendra Panda, Convenor, Civil Society Forum on Human Rights (CSFHR), Bhubaneswar, Odisha
126. Mumtaz Seikh, Programme Coordinator, Women’s Empowerment, Women’s Federation, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
127. Nand Kashyap, Vice President Chhattisgarh Kisan Sabha, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh
128. Nora Samad, Alumni-TISS-Mumbai, Jharkhand, India
129. Santosh Kumar, Founder, Dalit Shakti Sangthan, Bihar, India
130. Dr. Lakhan Singh, President, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Chhattisgarh unit, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, India
131. Dilip Kumar Hota, Social Activist, Kondhwa, Pune, Maharashtra, India
132. Zulaikha Jabeen, Fatma Shekh Savitree Phule Counseling & Training Centre, New Delhi, India
133. Rahul Singh, Fatma Shekh Savitree Phule Counseling & Training Centre, New Delhi, India
134. Krishna Mira Roy, Activist, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
135. Arati Luthra Pinto, Freelance Educator, Alumini-TISS, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
136. Abhishek Kumar Dash, Human Rights Defender/Independent Filmmaker, Kalahandi, Odisha, India
137. Saroj Kumar Suna, Cultural Activist/ Independent Filmmaker, Founder, Gandabaja Cultural Movement, Bargarh, Odisha, India
138. Rajendra Sail, Human Rights Activist/ Advocate/ Writer, Former National Organising Secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
139. Ananyo Mukherjee, District Coordinator-Coochbehar, Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayat and Rural Development Department, Coochbehar, West Bengal, India
140. Dr. Nalini Abraham, Member, Editorial Board, Journal of People’s Studies, New Delhi, India
141. Colleen Robbins, San Jose, California, USA
142. Anil Vyom, MPhil Scholar, Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
143. Priya Pillai, Social Environmental Activist, New Delhi, India
144. Vinod Chahande, Research Associate, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Good Governance and Policy Analysis, Madhya Pradesh, India
145. Manas Jena, Executive Director, Development Initiative, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, India
146. Dr. Anil Gaikwad, Chief Editor, Buddhist Voice, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
147. Dolon Ganguly, Social Worker, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
148. Shabana Yasmin, Social Worker, Hyderabad, Telengana, Hyderabad
149. Lorenzo Jalaluddin Ropeta, Director, Centre for Justpeace in Mindanao, Philippines
150. Dr. Laurence Davis, College Lecturer, Department of Government and Politics, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
151. Janet Meredith, Artist, Friday Harbor, Washington, USA
152. Raja Vemula, Rohith Vemula’s Brother, Humanist & Dalit Rights Activist, Andhra Pradesh, India
153. Swatija Paranjape, Member, Forum Against Oppression of Women, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
154. Pushpa Achanta, Independent Journalist & Trainer, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
155. Manjula Pradeep, Consultant, Manuski, Pune, Maharashtra, India
156. Walter Mendoza, Concerned Citizen, Pune, Maharashtra, India
157. Dr. Anil Kumar Singh Associate Professor and Hindi poet and writer, Faizabad Uttar Pradesh, India
158. Dr. Ahmad Cameron, Canada
159. Sukla Dev Mitra, Independent Activist, Mumbai, India
160. Dr. S. Anandalakshmy, President, Bala Mandir Kamaraj Trust, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
161. Anju Meshram, Director, Savitri bai Phule Educational Academy, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
162. Dr. Supratik Chakraborty (endorsing in my capacity as an individual citizen of India) Professor, Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT-Bombay, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
163. Samarpan Praveen Kumar, Secretary, JLM India, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, India
164. Dr. Rajamanickam Azhagarasan, Professor, University of Madras, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
165. Dr. K. Srilata, Professor, Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
166. Dr. Ravinder Kaur, Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark