Mr Prime Minister,

We are academics and independent scholars from India and abroad, writing to express solidarity with, and to endorse the sentiments expressed by, forty-nine retired civil servants in their open letter to you of April 16th 2018 (

Along with these civil servants and countless other citizens of India and the world at large, we wish to express our deep anger and anguish over the events in Kathua and Unnao and the aftermath of these events; over the efforts, in both cases, of those administering the relevant States to protect the alleged perpetrators of these monstrous crimes; over the subsequent profoundly distasteful efforts of rationalisation, deflection and diversion that have been so much in evidence in the reactions of your party’s spokespersons in the media; and finally over your own prolonged (and by now familiar) silence that was broken only recently with wholly inadequate, platitudinous, and non-specific assurances of justice for the victims.

Kathua and Unnao are not isolated incidents. They are part of a pattern of repeated targeted attacks on minority religious communities, Dalits, tribals and women, in which rape and lynching have been employed as instruments of violence by gau rakshaks and others, in a sequence of events spread across Dadri in Uttar Pradesh (2015), Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir (2015), Bijapur and Sukma in Chhattisgarh (2015-16), Harda in Madhya Pradesh (2016), Latehar in Jharkand (2016), Una in Gujarat (2016), Rohtak in Haryana (2017), Delhi (2017), Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh (2017), and now Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh (2018).

Many of these events have occurred in States with BJP Governments, and all of them after the BJP assumed power at the Centre. This is not to associate violence exclusively with your party and with State governments presided over by your party. But there is an undeniable association with the ruling dispensation.

There is little evidence, in government action, of an appreciation of the importance of providing assistance to vulnerable sections of the society – whether through promotional measures aimed at enabling tribals and nomads to have access to forest and common property rights, or through preventive measures aimed at discouraging blatant breaches of the rule of law. Even the Allahabad High Court on April 12th 2018 observed: “If this is the conduct of the police in the state, whom will a victim approach to register a complaint? If this is the stand you are repeatedly taking then we will be forced to observe in our order that law and order has collapsed in the state".

We send you this letter because it is our duty to do so; so that we are not guilty of silence; and so that callousness and cowardice might finally draw the line at the broken body of a little girl and the rape of a young woman.


1. N Abhilaasha, Centre for Urban Equity, Ahmedabad
2. Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University, New York, USA
3. Arnab Acharya, Independent researcher, Washington D.C.
4. Anindita Adhikari , Brown University, USA
5. Tanvir Aeijaz, Ramjas College, Delhi
6. Farzana Afridi, Delhi
7. Aftab Ahmad, Columbia University, New York, USA
8. Huma Ahmed-Ghosh, San Diego State University, CA, USA
9. Aniket Alam, International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad
10. Seema Alavi, University of Delhi, Delhi
11. Meena Alexander, Hunter College/Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, USA
12. Dibyesh Anand, University of Westminster, UK
13. S.Anandhi, Chennai.
14. V. Krishna Ananth, SRM University - AP Amaravati
15. Mary Anderson: Harvard University and Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, USA
16. Aneesh, K.A., Jawaharlal Nehru Institute, New Delhi
17. Gil Anidjar, Columbia University, New York, USA
18. Anitha Kumary L, Trivandrum
19. Sundari Anitha, University of Lincoln, United Kingdom
20. E. Annamalai, University of Chicago, USA
21. J. Shaik Dawood Ansari, Open Campus Madang, University of Papua New Guinea
22. Arjun Appadurai, New York University, New York, USA
23. Anjali Arondekar, UCLA, USA
24. Balveer Arora, Emeritus Professor and Chairman, Centre for Multilevel Federalism
25. P K Yasser Arafath, University of Delhi, Delhi
26. Shoba Arun, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
27. G. Arunima, JNU, New Delhi
28. Nina Asher, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, USA
29. Kiran Asher, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA
30. Prashanth Asuri, Santa Clara University, USA
31. Jayadev Athreya, University of Washington, USA
32. Venkatesh Athreya, Social Activist and Retired Academic, Chennai
33. Madhav Badami, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
34. Amiya Kumar Bagchi, (Emeritus), Institute for Development Studies, Kolkata
35. Barnita Bagchi, Utrecht University, Netherlands
36. Neha Bagle, IIM Ahmedabad
37. Vidura Jang Bahadur, University of Chicago, Chicago, USA
38. Amit R. Baishya, Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Oklahoma
39. Mira Bakhru, Retd faculty, IIM Bangalore, Bnagalore.
40. Aparna Balachandran, University of Delhi, Delhi
41. Radhika Balakrishnan, Rutgers University, U.S.A
42. Sai Balakrishnan, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, USA
43. Sujata Balasubramanian, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong
44. Swethaa S. Ballakrishnen, New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE
45. Sibaji Bandyopadhyay, Retd Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
46. Abhijit Banerjee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
47. Arindam Banerjee, Ambedkar University, Delhi
48. Chinmoy Banerjee, Emeritus, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada
49. Sukanya Banerjee, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA
50. Sumanta Banerjee, Independent Researcher, Hyderabad
51. Parama Barai, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
52. Syamal Kumar Basak (Retd), Presidency College/University, Kolkata
53. Rakesh Basant, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
54. Alaka Basu, Cornell University, U.S.A
55. Amrita Basu, Amherst College, Mass, USA
56. Deepankar Basu, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst MA, USA
57. Kunal Basu, University of Oxford, UK
58. Lopamudra Basu, University of Wisconsin-Stout
59. Kanika Batra, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA
60. Amita Baviskar, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi
61. Jyothsna Belliappa, Bangalore
62. Yael Berda, Hebrew University and Harvard University, USA
63. Amit Bhaduri, (Emeritus), JNU, New Delhi.
64. Monika Bhagat-Kennedy, University of Mississippi
65. Manu Bhagavan, Hunter College and the Graduate Center-CUNY, New York, USA
66. Alok Bhalla, Former Professor of English, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.
67. Sheila Bhalla, (Emerita): Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Visiting: Institute of Human Development, New Delhi
68. Brenna Bhandar , SOAS, University of London, London UK
69. Gauri Bharat, CEPT University, Ahmedabad
70. Ira Bhaskar, JNU, New Delhi
71. Saurabh Bhattacharjee, The WB National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
72. Baidik Bhattacharya, University of Delhi. Delhi
73. Neeladri Bhattacharya, Retd from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
74. Sucheta Bhattacharya, Jadavpur University, Kolkata
75. Debjani Bhattacharyya, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
76. Devaki Bhaya, Stanford, CA, USA
77. Bhangya Bhukya, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
78. Akeel Bilgrami, Columbia University, U.S.A.
79. A K Biswas, Former Vice-Chancellor, B R Ambedkar Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, Bihar
80. Bënil Biswas, Ambedkar University, Delhi
81. Moinak Biswas, Professor, Jadavpur University, Kolkata
82. Cavery Bopaiah, Bangalore
83. Mita Bose, retired, Indraprastha College, Delhi University and currently Adjunct faculty at ICFAI Business School, Gurugram, Haryana
84. Tirthankar Bose, Simon Fraser University, Canada
85. Saronik Bosu, New York University, New York, USA
86. Guillaume Boucher, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
87. Milind Brahme, Chennai, India
88. Vacha Brat, IIM, Ahmedabad
89. Carmen Bugan, writer and independent scholar, Long Island, USA
90. Eleanor Byrne, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
91. Maya Chadda, William Paterson University, NJ, USA
92. Achin Chakraborty, Institute for Development Studies, Kolkata
93. Chandrima Chakraborty, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
94. Lekha Chakraborty, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi
95. Madhurima Chakraborty, Columbia College Chicago
96. Pinaki Chakraborty, New Delhi
97. Rudrashish Chakraborty, Kirori Mal College, Delhi
98. Shouvik Chakraborty, PERI, University of Massachussetts Amherst, U.S.A
99. Ranabir Chakravarti, JNU, New Delhi
100. Paula Chakravartty, New York University, New York, USA
101. Mrinalini Chakravorty, University of Virginia, USA
102. Barnali Chanda, Techno India University, Kolkata
103. Sudhir Chandra, Historian
104. Vinita Chandra, Ramjas College, Delhi
105. C. P. Chandrasekhar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
106. Tarun Chandrayadula, IIT Madras, Chennai
107. S. Charusheela, University of Washington Bothell, USA
108. Sayaka Chatani, National University of Singapore, Singapore
109. Amita Chatterjee, Retired Professor of Philosophy, Jadavpur University
110. Ananya Chatterjea, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
111. Indrani Chatterjee, University of Texas at Austin, USA
112. Sreeparna Chattopadhyay, Bangalore
113. Suchetana Chattopadhyay, Jadavpur University, Kolkata
114. Ruchi Chaturvedi, University of Cape Town, South Africa
115. Amit Chaudhuri, Writer, Calcutta
116. Aparna Chaudhuri, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
117. Rosinka Chaudhuri, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
118. Sudip Chaudhuri, Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.
119. Sukanta Chaudhuri, (Emeritus), Jadavpur University, Kolkata
120. Supriya Chaudhuri, (Emeritia). Jadavpur University, Kolkata
121. Wendy Chavkin MD, MPH, Columbia University, New York, USA
122. Ying Chen, New School for Social Research, New York, USA
123. Anuradha Mitra Chenoy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
124. Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
125. Dolores Chew, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
126. Anita Chikkatur, Carleton College, Northfield, MN
127. Camille Cole, Yale University, U.S.A
128. Andrew Cornford, Geneva Finance Observatory, Switzerland
129. Amrita Chhachhi, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands
130. Jagdeep Chhokar, Professor (Retired), Indian Institute of Management,Ahmedabad
131. Sarah E. Chinn, Hunter College, CUNY, New York, USA
132. Deborah Choate, MD, Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Boston, USA
133. Noam Chomsky, ( Emeritus) Massachussetts Institute of Technology, and University of Arizona, U.S.A
134. Deepta Chopra, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
135. Elora Halim Chowdhury, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA
136. Indira Chowdhury Bengaluru, India
137. Indranil Chowdhury, University of Delhi, Delhi
138. Nusrat S Chowdhury, Amherst College, Massachusetts, USA
139. Sayandeb Chowdhury, Ambedkar University, Delhi
140. Francis Cody, University of Toronto, Canada
141. Karen Coelho, Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai
142. Camille Cole, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
143. Jonathan R. Cole, Columbia University, New York, USA
144. Andrew Cornford, Geneva Finance Observatory, Switzerland
145. Romar Correa, (Retd from) University of Mumbai, Mumbai
146. Vedita Cowaloosur, Charles Telfair Institute, Mauritius
147. Vasudha Dalmia, (Emerita), University of California, Berkeley
148. Katyayani Dalmia, The New School for Social Research, New York, USA
149. Sumangala Damodaran, Ambedkar University, Delhi
150. Vinita Damodaran, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
151. Bijay K Danta, Tezpur, Assam
152. Jane D'Arista, U/Mass, Amherst, USA