[GHHF] Letter Supporting the suspension of Dr. Angana Chatterji by CIIS

15 Oct 2011 2812 Views

Dear Friends:

Dr. Angana Chatterji is one those anti-Hindu liberal who has written letters to United Nations about the Kashmir issue and blaming the Hindus especially RSS, VHP, BJP, etc. We have written a letter on August 20, 2008 rebutting her assertions and demanding public debate. She never replied.

Now she was suspended by California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). Please read what we wrote to the President and Vice President.


Letter Supporting the suspension of Dr. Angana Chatterji by CIIS

October 15, 2011
Office of the President
Joseph L. Subbiondo, President

Office of the Academic Vice President
Judie Wexler, Academic Vice President

Subject: Angana Chatterji suspension

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of thousands of Indians, who are concerned about the views of Dr. Angana Chatterji toward Kashmir and her abuse of academic freedom, we unequivocally and unambiguously support your decision to suspend her from the CIIS. We congratulate the decision the CIIS has taken based on your investigation of her academic tenure.

In her letter to UN in 2008, we have rebutter her views and challenged her for public debate. Being an academician, we thought she would engage in a meaningful way to hear the views of those concerned about her one-sided, partial, irrational, illogical, and unscientific views on Kashmir. She never replied to our request. Being an academician, one would expect them to discuss the issues openly, rather than confine them to a closed classroom settings. Even though academic freedom is granted to the faculty members to discuss and investigate any issue affecting the society, they also have an obligation to discuss both sides of the issue and present the issue in a more balanced, unprejudiced, objective and rational manner. Dr. Chatterji appears to have turned her classrooms into her personal forum where she presents her dogmas forcing students to the biased, one-sided views about Kashmir issue. This one-sided presentation of views is dangerous to the academic inquiry and critical thinking of the students who need to broaden their academic experience rather than stifle their minds.

There appears to be no clear demarcation of her duties between academic freedom and liberal activism. They need to be separated without one infringing on the other. Dr. Chatterji totally failed in separating these sectors bring black eye to the institution. She should make a decision as to whether she wants to be an academician or an activist. Academic institutions should not be the pawns of political infringement of certain academicians.

Today’s protest meeting against CIIS organized by the students and others is misguided and ill advised.

One again we support your decision to suspend Dr. Chatterji.

Attached you will find:
1) Letter we sent to Dr. Chatterji and her associates on August 20, 2008 challenging her views and requesting a Public Debate.
2) Dr. Chatterji’s letter addressed to United Nations

If you need any clarification, we will be happy to respond. Thanks

V. V. Parkas Rao, PhD

1) Biased letter sent to UN against Hindus by Dr. Chatterji; Challenge to discuss in a Public Forum anywhere about the issues raised
August 20, 2008

Dear Friends:

One should perform his deeds for the benefit of mankind with an unbiased approach because bias gives birth to evil, which creates thousands of obstacles in our path." Rig Veda
I am writing this letter to inform that Dr. Angana Chatterji's letter to United Nations is totally biased, outrageous, irrational and blind to the history. If she wants to be rational, objective, logical as an academician, she should look at the history of India since the advent of Islam on the face of this earth. Does she know how Hindus were massacred, how Hindu Temples were destroyed, how Hindu women were raped, how many were forced to conversion, how Sanatana dharma was almost wiped out in all the present 55 Muslim countries, how Pakistani infiltrators have destabilized Jammu and Kashmir, how the government is appeasing the minorities with reservations based on religion, how the governments are eager to provide subsidy for Muslims and Christians to go to Mecca and Bethelham, how the militants are planting and exploding bombs in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Hyderabad. Mumbai, and Jaipur, how the Amarnath pilgrims are denied basic amenities by the terrorists and pacifist governments, how Lord Shiva Temple was converted to the so called Taj Mahal, how many Hindu Temples were converted to Mosques and how many lakhs of Kashmiri Hindus have been displaced from their state for the last 18 years? And the list goes on.

Where are the concern, ire, agony, anguish, pain, wrath, frustration and rage of these academicians for all the Hindus who have been persecuted over the centuries and denied their basic human rights? Why can't they show the same concern to Hindus as they showed to Muslims in their letter addressed to UN?

I was a sociologist for more than 36 years and served as a Chairman of the Department of Sociology before I retired. Objectivity is the hallmark of any academician. I wish and urge Dr. Chatterji to present unbiased history of how Hindus have been mistreated and abused by Muslims, Christians, Communists, Mass media, secular government and the so called academicians over the centuries.

It is even more surprising to know that one of the contact persons is a visiting historian who could not even temper the irrationality of the letter and shed historical light of the atrocities of Muslims and Christians committed repeatedly over 13 or more centuries on Hindus in India and abroad.

I would travel to any place to discuss and dialogue with all the academicians who sent a letter to United Nations to show that the letter is totally biased, one sided, and irrational, and it is a disgrace to the profession they belong.

I request all of you to do two things:
1) Read the letter written by Dr. Chatterji on behalf of Dr. Duschinski and Dr. Mathur and others; decide for yourself if it is balanced and unbiased. Also find out how independent these academicians and others are toward the subject.
2) A Sample letter is enclosed for you to send it to United Nations protesting the letter written by these three academicians and give a realistic picture of Kashmiri Hindus. Please modify your liking. E-mail address of UN is: InfoDesk@ohchr.org
3) Also send your own views to all the three distinguished professors.

If you have any questions I will be glad to respond.

V. V. Prakasa Rao PhD
Remember the quotation from Albert Einstein and do what is right to preserve human dignity and honor irrespective of religion, cast or creed:
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it"

2) Following is the letter written by Dr. Angana Chatterji and others to UN.


Justice Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner
Dr. Kyung-wha Kang, Deputy High Commissioner
Ms. Gay McDougall, Independent Expert on minority issues
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10

Subject: Humanitarian Crisis in Jammu and Kashmir

August 12, 2008

Dear Justice Pillay, Dr. Kang, Ms. McDougall:

We write to bring to your attention the profound humanitarian crisis continuing in the Kashmir Valley due to the ongoing blockade of the Srinagar-Jammu highway by religious nationalist groups from India. This has resulted in severe shortages in the Kashmir Valley of food and other vital provisions. We are reliably informed that petrol and essential medical rations, including blood, are in critically short supply, as well as newsprint, and that communication services and infrastructure are severely disrupted.

The situation in Jammu, where the Muslim minority is facing violence on a scale that can be described as ethnic cleansing, is alarming. The Government of India and the military and paramilitary forces have shown themselves unable and/or unwilling to take any effective action, either to end the blockade or to stop the violence against Muslims in Jammu. Meanwhile, military and paramilitary forces have opened fire on counter-demonstrators in Kashmir, using live bullets and mortar. A communiqué from the Kashmir Valley states that:

"The situation here on ground is that essential commodities have started getting dried up, diesel is already out of stock and petrol at its verge of end. The people here are very much concerned as if the same continues for next few days there will be nothing left to eat with the people of Kashmir. And on the other side the Army is supporting the mobs who have allegedly beaten up the drivers stranded on the national highway. The drivers who were beaten up reported that they asked Army to help them but all went in despair and the Army people in return handed them over to the mobs. The target is only the Kashmiri Muslims and some sources from Jammu say that it is the outsiders who have come to Jammu and are doing such attacks on the Muslims and it is quite evident that the Hindu fundamentalist groups viz. BJP, RSS VHP, etc., are all sponsoring the planned attacks onto the Kashmiris like it was done in Gujarat. Here in Kashmir we feel the history seems to be being repeated by the Hindu fundamentalists who had earlier in 1947 killed about 250,000 Muslims in Jammu."

On August 11, 2008, approximately 100,000 Kashmiris, including fruit growers and others gravely affected by the blockade, marched toward the Line of Control toward Pakistan markets in protest. They were met with gunfire and tear gas from the military and paramilitary forces, and Sheik Abdul Aziz, an All Parties Hurriyat Conference leader, was shot dead, intensifying the situation. Police reports stated that three others were killed and over 200 injured, enervating health systems already low on supplies. Other sources we contacted stated that as many as 18 others may have been killed in Kashmir on August 11. By early evening of August 12, as we write you, reports stated that as many as twelve persons were killed in Kashmir on that day as armed forces fired on demonstrators. Other reports stated that civil society groups, students, and labor unions participating in non-violent civil disobedience and peaceful protests are being targeted by the forces, as curfew conditions prevail.

The Srinagar-Jammu highway is the only land route linking the Kashmir Valley to India and the sole conduit for essential supplies as well as for exporting horticultural goods, which are among the Valley's chief products. News updates on the state of the blockade and situation can be found from leading Kashmiri newspapers, which are online
at www.greaterkashmir.com; www.kashmirtimes.com;www.risingkashmir.com; www.etalaat.com/english/.

About 95-97 percent of the population of the Valley is Muslim, while Muslims are a minority in India. This has made Kashmir the target of increasingly aggressive campaigns by Hindu nationalist groups since 1947, despite guarantees of autonomy written into the Indian Constitution. The Government of India has failed to take measures to prevent these campaigns, consisting of marches and demonstrations, and culminating in the current blockade. Since 1989 there has been an armed pro-independence struggle in Kashmir, together with other and non-violent movements for self-determination. Indian counterinsurgency operations have resulted in grave abuses of human rights with social, economic, psychological, political, and environmental consequences, which meet the definition under international law of crimes against humanity. To a population suffering the effects of nineteen years of armed conflict, the economic crisis caused by the blockade comes as the last straw.

We urge that you respond expeditiously to this situation in accordance with the mandate to uphold human rights as enshrined in the charter of the United Nations.

1. The Government of India should immediately end the economic blockade and ensure that goods and services, including emergency medical and food supplies, can move in both directions along the Srinagar-Jammu border.
2. The Government of India should open the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road, a promise repeatedly reiterated by successive governments of India and Pakistan, though never implemented. This would ensure that the current crisis situation is not repeated as well as mark a concrete step forward in addressing injustices and the peace process.
3. Take immediate action to stop the violence against the Muslim minority in Jammu and bring those responsible to justice.
4. Put an end to ongoing human rights abuses by Indian forces and pro-India militias as repeatedly promised by the Indian Prime Minister and expected of democratic governments.
5. Take steps for a long-term resolution of the conflict by beginning talks with all sections of the Kashmiri leadership and civil society.
6. Take steps to hold the Indian state accountable under the provisions established by the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, Constitution of India, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and International Laws and Conventions.

We, the undersigned, are academics, social activists, writers, filmmakers, artists, lawyers, and concerned citizens. Our work and conscience connects us to Kashmir and its people. We hold no political affiliations. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we may be of further use.

Contact persons:
Dr. Angana Chatterji, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, California Institute of Integral Studies, Office: 001-415.575.6119 , Mobile: 001-415.640.4013 , E-mail:achatterji@ciis.edu.
Dr. Haley Duschinski, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ohio University, Office: 001-740.593.0823 , E-mail: duschins@ohio.edu.
Dr. Shubh Mathur, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Office: 001-347.404.2238 , E-mail: Shubh.Mathur@stockton.edu.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr. Angana Chatterji, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco


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