'Campus Speaks on Academic Freedom' winning submissions

24 August 2021

The ICAS 12 Academic Freedom Space in cooperation with the Humanities Across Borders programme have invited the submission of media representations that capture student and teachers voices on the issue of academic freedom from university campuses across the globe.

We are happy to present the winning submissions here.

We only show one photo and a short text for each entry here. Please click on the text to go to the submission's accession card', where you can see all photos and complete information.

The ICAS 12 Academic Freedom Space is an open and safe platform created by IIAS alumni that seeks to create spaces in response to infringements on intellectual and academic expression.

The Humanities Across Borders programme is a new humanist model of situated learning promoted by the International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Suspension and Warning for Views Expressed in Online Class

This is regarding the suspension and the warning letter issued to Gilbert Sebastian, Assistant Professor in the Department of International Relations and Politics, Central University of Kerala for views expressed during the class on ‘fascism and nazism’ on 19 April 2021. In the class, he expressed the view that the RSS and the BJP might be considered ‘proto-fascist’ and a question was raised whether India under Narendra Modi since 2014 could be counted in among other fascist/proto-fascist states.

The political right wing in the university got the class leaked out to the Hindutva/Sangh Parivar-affiliated media outlets and began a deadly vilification campaign against him. Sangh Parivar alleged that he had called for militant struggles although he had mentioned broad alliances and militant struggles. The vilification campaign, in turn, generated immediate solidarity with him from the religious minority organisations, especially of Muslims, the Congress-affiliated organisations, the CPI(M) and CPI-affiliated organisations, some legislators including Shashi Tharoor, some teachers’ associations including the Federation of Central Universities Teachers’ Associations (FEDCUTA), students and academicians. The solidarity and support was pleasantly surprising and inspiringly showed that India does have the vibrancy to resist illiberal tendencies.

19 April 2021, Central University of Kerala, Kasaragod, India


Go to the accession card to see this entry in its entirety.