More Than 2,000 Activists and Scholars Extend Support to Hany Babu

The Delhi University professor has been arrested by the NIA in the Bhima Koregaon case.

New Delhi: More than 2,000 scholars and activists have extended support to Delhi University professor Hany Babu, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Bhima Koregaon case on July 28.

The signatories described the arrest of Babu as the continuation of an almost year-long “harassment” which began with a raid of his house on September 10, 2019. They pointed out that Babu has clearly stated that he has no connection with the incidents at Bhima-Koregaon, where violence was reported on January 1, 2018 during the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle.

“Although violence at the event was triggered by the interference of Hindu right-wing groups, the incident was used as a pretext to arrest Dalit scholars and other activists,” the statement says. With the arrest of Babu, 12 people – all activists, lawyers and academics – have been arrested in relation to the case.

The signatories said that as anti-caste scholars and activists, they understand that the framing of Babu, “a tireless anti-caste intellectual and activist”, is an attempt to penalise Dalit-Bahujans for raising their voice against casteist practices. They said that the DU professor has consistently worked to ensure equal opportunity for Dalit and Bahujan students and that he views social justice as one of the main aims of scholarship.

Describing his arrest as the latest example of the current government’s attempt to “annihilate dissent and freedom of life for its vocal public”, they also expressed concern at the arrest of India’s important intellectuals and activists during the time of the global pandemic.

“We, the national and international community of anti-caste scholars and activists, urge the Indian Government to acquit Dr. Hany Babu, in the interest of preserving democratic values and human rights,” they said.

The full statement, along with selected names of the signatories, has been reproduced below. The complete list of signatories can be found here.


Statement of Solidarity & Plea to Free Prof. Hany Babu

On 28 July 2020, The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Dr. Hany Babu, Associate Professor at the Department of English in the University of Delhi, in connection with the Elgaar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon Case. On 24 July, Prof. Babu (54) was summoned to the NIA office in Mumbai as a witness where he was subsequently arrested after five days of questioning. He had requested to provide testimony via Video Conferencing considering the travel risk related to COVID-19, but his request was denied. As the questioning started, Prof. Babu was forced to provide false testimony against other activists and to accept allegations of being a functionary of the Maoists. Even under immense pressure, Prof. Babu, a conscientious teacher and activist, refused to concur with these lies. Because he stood for truth, Prof. Babu was arrested after five days of harassment in the name of interrogation.

The arrest of Prof. Babu is the continuation of an almost year-long harassment which began with a raid of his house on 10 September 2019. The Pune Police, who claimed the raid was in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon case, confiscated his laptop and mobile phones as well as barred him from using his social media handles. Prof. Babu has clearly stated that he has no connection in any way whatsoever with the incidents at Bhima-Koregaon. The Bhima-Koregaon case is related to the eruption of violence at the annual celebratory event of Dalits on 1 January 2018. Although violence at the event was triggered by the interference of Hindu right-wing groups, the incident was used as a pretext to arrest Dalit scholars and other activists. Prof. Babu is the twelfth person to be arrested in relation to the case.

As anti-caste scholars and activists, we understand that the framing of Prof. Hany Babu, a tireless anti-caste intellectual and activist, is an attempt to penalise Dalitbahujans for raising their voice against casteist practices. It is a tragic irony that the Indian Government is using a celebratory event of Dalits to frame anti-caste scholars and activists. Prof. Babu, who has consistently worked to ensure equal opportunity for Dalitbahujan students, views social justice as one of the main aims of scholarship. He also raised his voice to defend the rights of Prof. Sai Baba, a Delhi University Professor with 90% physical disability who was arrested on charges of having Maoist links in 2014. Prof. Babu’s commitment to social justice is penalised by his arrest. This is the latest example of the current Indian Government’s attempt to annihilate dissent and freedom of life for its vocal public. We are also disturbed by the arrest of India’s important intellectuals and activists during the time of the global pandemic. This situation causes great concern for Prof. Babu’s good health and safety in custody. It is with utmost dismay that we witness this onslaught on India’s public intellectuals who are committed to social justice like Prof. Hany Babu. We, the national and international community of anti-caste scholars and activists, urge the Indian Government to acquit Dr. Hany Babu, in the interest of preserving democratic values and human rights.

Signed by the following:

1. Lakshmanan, Dalit Intellectual Collective
2. Gurpreet Singh, Indians Abroad for Pluralist India
3. Jenny Rowena, Academic, Wife of Hany Babu
4. NEVIL MP, University College of London, United Kingdom
5. N. P. Pavithran, Father-in-Law of Hany Babu, Kerala
6. Farzana, Daughter of Hany Babu
7. Sudipto Mukhopadhyay, SCBC College, Murshidabad
8. Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, Professor (Retired), Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
9. Priyamvada Gopal, University of Cambridge
10. Dr Ajita Rao, Dalit Feminist, Delhi
11. Prof Christian Haesemeyer, University of Melbourne
12. Sandeep Bakshi, Assistant Professor, University of Paris
13. Judith MISRAHI-BARAK, University Paul Valery Montpellier, France
14. SATYANARAYANA K, Professor, EFL University, Hyderabad
15. Malcolm McKinnon, Retired Professor, New Zealand
16. Keith Reader, Visiting Emeritus Professor, University of London Institute in Paris
17. Nicole Thiara, Nottingham Trent University
18. Ali Rattansi, Visiting Professor, City University, London
19. Luisa Steur, Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam
20. Meera Velayudhan, Policy Analyst
21. Neil Rogall UCU, Lecturers Union, UK
22. Prof. K. Satchidanandan, Indian Writers’ Forum
23. PRADIP KUMAR DATTA, Professor (retired) JNU
24. Nivedita Menon, Professor, JNU
25. Lissa Lincoln American University of Paris
26. Anamika Misra, Kent Law School
27. Dr Julie Gosling – Making Waves Uk
28. Satya P Mohanty, Professor, Cornell University
29. Jayati Ghosh, Jawaharlal Nehru University
30. David McNally, Distinguished Professor, University of Houston
31. Esther Ramani, retired professor from Rhodes University
32. Debjanee Ganguly/Calcutta University
33. Nayanika Mathur, University of Oxford
34. Philip J Gabriel, University of Arizona
35. Uma Chakravarty, Retired Teacher
36. Giovanna Gioli, Bath Spa University
37. Janaki Nair Retd Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU
38. John G Walker, Retired, Ruskin College, Oxford
39. Leila Essa, Trinity College Dublin
40. Dyuti Chakravarty, PhD Researcher, University College Dublin
41. Sruti Bala, Associate Professor Theatre Studies, University of Amsterdam
42. Lotika Singha, University of Wolverhampton, UK
43. K.Laxminarayana, University of Hyderabad
44. David Mumford, Prof. Emeritus, Brown University
45. Anjana Singh, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
46. Camille Fauroux, Universite Federale, Toulouse
47. Mary E John, Researcher, New Delhi
48. Thirumal, Professor, University of Hyderabad
49. Gertrude Lamare, London School of Economics and Political Science
50. Dr Vikas Bajpai, Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University
51. Nandini Chandra, Assistant Professor, University of Hawaii
52. Sowmya Dechamma, Professor, University of Hyderabad
53. Sandeep Mertia, New York University
54. Rhys Jones, University of Liverpool
55. Anupama Potluri, University of Hyderabad
56. Layal Ftouni, Utrecht university, The Netherlands
57. Mark Fleming, Assistant Professor, University of California, Berkeley
58. Samseer Mambra, PhD student, National University of Singapore
59. Dolores Herrero/University of Zaragoza, Spain
60. Kavita Bhanot – University of Leicester
61. Kriti Budhiraja, University of Minnesota
62. Kalpana Wilson, Birkbeck, University of London
63. Kim Fernandes, University of Pennsylvania
64. Huma Dar, California
65. Sritama Chatterjee, University of Pittsburgh
66. Saheli Women’s Resource Centre
67. Hugo Gorringe, Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh
68. Abhishek Venugopal, Student, Germany
69. Aditi T, PhD candidate, Indiana University Bloomington
70. Amogh Sharma, University of Oxford
71. Brenda LeFrançois, Memorial Univeristy, Canada
72. Dr Nicholas Harrigan/Macquarie University
73. Prof. Jennifer Tuder, St. Cloud State University, USA
74. Arun Ashokan, Researcher, ETH, Zurich
75. Dickens Leonard, Independent Scholar, and former Adjunct, University of Hyderabad
76. Bava Dharani, SOAS, London
77. G Arunima, Professor, JNU
78. Meena Kandasamy, Writer
79. Lata Singh, JNU
80. Chayanika Shah, LABIA – A Queer Feminist LBT Collective Mumbai
81. Akanksha Mehta, Goldsmiths, University of London
82. Rajkumar Hans, Retired Professor, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
83. Srikrishna Sekhar/University of Cape Town
84. Sujai Kumar, University of Edinburgh
85. Juan Luis Gastaldi, ETH Zurich
86. Kaushal, Hasratein a queer collective
87. Raza Griffiths, University of Kent, England
88. Sheheen Kattiparambil, University of Leeds
89. Devanshi Khetarpal, New York University
90. E.V.Ramakrishnan, Author and academic
91. Shalini Gera, Advocate, High Court of Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur
92. Kartheek, Human Rights Forum
93. Gerald G Netto, University of Eastern Finland
94. Goldie Osuri, University of Warwick
95. Tanweer Fazal, Professor, University of Hyderabad
96. Sunandan K N, Azim Premji University
97. Wardah, Aligarh Muslim University
98. Riddhi Dastidar, Ambedkar University Delhi
99. Shalini Sharma, Keele University
100. Sourit Bhattacharya, University of Glasgow
101. Divya Roa, Teaching Associate, University of Warwick
102. Vasvi Oza, Artist
103. Vidushi Kaushik, Dublin City University
104. Jason Scott-Warren, University of Cambridge
105. Baidehi Das, University of Hyderabad
106. Papori Bora, Jawaharlal Nehru University
107. Seema, MP Mahila Manch
108. Shruti Iyer, Student, University of Oxford
109. Gary Slack Jr., Cornell University
110. M. Madhava Prasad, EFLU Hyderabad
111. Jayasree Kalathil, Survivor Research, London, UK
112. Amit Baishya, University of Oklahoma
113. Jayan K Cherian/ Filmmaker
114. Avishek Das, Student, UC Berkeley
115. Shikha Jhingan, JNU
116. Joby Joseph, University of Hyderabad
117. Joel Van de Sande, PhD scholar, Columbia University
118. Zoe Lawlor, University of Limerick, Ireland
119. Shruti Mukherjee, SUNY Stony Brook
120. Professor Vicki Coppock, Edge Hill University UK
121. Tulika (independent filmmaker)
122. Arundhathi Krishnan, University College Cork
123. Nipesh Palat, University of Colombo
124. Rakesh Sengupta, PhD student, SOAS
125. Divya Cherian, Assistant Professor, Princeton University
126. Beth Bhargava, University of Cambridge
127. Debjani Dutta, University of Southern California
128. Ishita Tiwary, Concordia university
129. Freny Manecksha, Journalist
130. Will Hall, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
131. Mallika Khanna, Indiana University
132. Bhaswati Bhattacharya/ Goettingen University
133. Mythri Prasad, Graduate Center, City University of New York
134. Vicky Kumar Saw, Pondicherry University
135. Niyati Shenoy, PhD Candidate, Columbia University
136. Dr. Arathi PM, Assistant professor, School of Indian Legal Thought, Mahatama Gandhi University
137. Dr. M.M. Khan (formerly Associate Professor and Head, Dept of History, Govt: College for Women, Tvm. Kerala University)
138. Debaditya Bhattacharya, Kazi Nazrul University
139. Gautam Mody, New Trade Union Initiative
140. Thanzeel Nazer, Graduate Student, University of Minnesota
141. Sachin N, Assistant professor, University of Delhi
142. Amulya Mandava, Harvard University
143. Sujith koonan, Assistant professor, University of Delhi
144. Hameeda C. K., Assistant Professor, Department of women’s studies, university of Calicut
145. Ameet Parameswaran, Assistant Professor, JNU
146. Dr MN Parasuraman, University College Thiruvananthapuram Kerala
147. Muhsin Parari
148. Debdatta Chowdhury, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta
149. Burhan Qureshi, Delhi University
150. Anupriya Bose, previous MA student
151. Ayesha Vemuri, McGill University
152. Saidalavi PC, Australian National University
153. Srividya Natarajan
154. Akriti Mehta, King’s College London
155. Shantanu Nevrekar/ PhD Student, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University
156. CSR Shankar, University of Minnesota
157. Kaustubh Naik, University of Pennsylvania
158. Maansi Shah, Columbia University
159. Muhammed Shah Shajahan, PhD, Virginia Tech
160. Shalmali Jadhav, University of Michigan
161. Shabnam Rathee; PhD candidate at Murdoch University
162. Waseem. R. S., secretary fraternity movement
163. Shivani Parikh, Center For Safety and Change
164. Carol Manahan, California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA
165. Praveen Kolluguri, International Network of Democratic Indians Abroad
166. KALYANI MENON, Feminist Learning Partnerships
167. Shikha Nehra, PhD Student, Stanford University
168. Ramesh Bairy, IIT Bombay
169. Iqbal Singh, Rtd Deshbandhu college
170. Amitabh Trehan, loughborough University
171. Lisa Thomas/ O P Jindal Global University
172. Indhubala – PhD candidate, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
173. JANAKI ABRAHAM, Professor, Delhi University
174. Ladeeda farzana
175. Dr Aditya Sarkar, Warwick University
176. Tapsi Mathur, Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
177. Pragati Mohapatra, Delhi University
178. Aameen Muhiyudheen, Darul Uloom nadwathul ulama, Lucknow
179. Abhishodh Prakash, ICTS-TIFR
180. Tushar Mesharam
181. Ameen Hassan, Advocate
182. Azfar Hussain, Azfar Hussain, Grand Valley State University, Michigan, USA
183. Muhammed Shabeeb P, Jamia Millia Islamia
184. Dev Desai, social activist, ANHAD
185. Muhammad Vasil, Research scholar, University of Hyderabad
186. Ajin K Thomas, Researcher, Ahmedabad
187. Dr Ansar Aboobacker, President, Fraternity Movement
188. Hritvika Lakhera, Miranda House
189. Bhumika Saraswati, Independent Journalist
190. Yedu kottakkal, freelance writer
191. Ananthu, Research Student, University of Hyderabad
192. Samson Gidla, Research Scholar, University of Hyderabad
193. Amritha Mohan, Journalist
194. Arun Mahanand, Ambedkarite Activist
195. Khadeeja Amenda/ Research Associate
196. Seena Panoli, Phd Scholar, University of Hyderabad
197. Nitoo Das, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi
198. Prithviraj, Assistant Professor, Central University of Punjab
199. Sujata Patel, Savitribai Phule Pune University
200. Lakshmi Pradeep, Researcher, National University of Singapore
201. Pallavi Rao, PhD student, Indiana University Bloomington
202. SREERAG PARAYIL, Student, London
203. Shinaj. P. S. PhD Student, University of Hyderabad
204. Thongam Bipin, Imphal
205. JASEEM, Journalist, Mediaone
206. K S Sudeep, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Technology, Calicut
207. Haritha R, University of Hyderabad
208. Bivitha Easo, University of Hyderabad
209. Sashanka Shekhar Das, University of Delhi
210. Moushumi Basu, University of Delhi
211. Sophia Abbas, PhD Scholar, Yale University
212. Raju Nayak, EFLU, Hyderabad
213. Manasi M S, University of Hyderabad
214. Saravanan V, Jawaharlal Nehru University-New Delhi
215. Mohan J Dutta, Massey University
216. Indrapramit Das, Writer
217. Korvi Vinayakala, Academician
218. Ishanee Sarmah, University of Hyderabad
219. Suruchi, BAPSA, JNU
220. Saranya S, Research Scholar, University of Hyderabad
221. Dr. Manju E P, Independent Researcher
222. Murali Shanmugavelan, SOAS, University of London
223. Debangana Baruah, TISS, Mumbai
224. Satya Prakash, MA Student, Jamia Millia Islamia
225. Jitendra Suna, Research Scholar, Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association, JNU, New Delhi
226. Bindhulakshmi Pattadath, Associate Professor, TISS, Mumbai
227. Muhammed Unais, queer activist
228. Sunita Das, PhD Scholar, Assam University, Silchar
229. Dr. N. Manohar Reddy, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad
230. Aashique Iqbal/Assistant Professor, Krea University
231. Siddhant, Student, NLU Delhi
232. Aftab Illath
233. Harish M Tharayil
234. Muhsina Ashraf, IIT Indore
235. Shamseer Ibrahim, Fraternity Movement
236. Akhil S Nair, Research Scholar, IIT Indore
237. Abdul Kabeer C, M.Phil Scholar – Sanskrit University Kalady
238. Vivek Jadhav – Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali
239. Kamalini Hegde,Research scholar, University of Hyderabad
240. Clotilde Fauroux, Paris
241. S. Durga Bhavani/ University of Hyderabad
242. Asma/Fraternity Movement
243. A.Suneetha, WTO JAC
244. Saganipuram Venkateswaran, citizen
245. Ekta Tomar, Student, National Law University-Delhi
246. Udaya Kumar
247. Zeeshan Husain/ Researcher
248. Sanghamitra Misra, University of Delhi
249. Sipra Mukherjee, West Bengal State University
250. Sampan/Ashoka University
251. Uthaman MK, Hyderabad.
252. Dr.Muhammedaly P.P. Independent Researcher
253. Harshin Kamal Asok, Asst. Prof., TIT Agartala
254. Madhavi Menon, Ashoka University
255. Mireille Ribiere, independent scholar
256. Abhiti, Lawyer, Delhi
257. Fathima Nizaruddin/ Filmmaker
258. Gracious Temsen, UoH
259. Chitra Panikkar, Bangalore University
260. Violina Barman, South Asian University, Chanakyapuri
261. Dr. Sonia Kaushal, Department of Anthropology, Dr Harisingh Gour University
262. DK Amarseth, Pondicherry University, Puducherry
263. Nikitha Phyllis, journalist at The Indian Express
264. Saumya Srivastava, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi
265. Dhiraj Saha, Central University of Gujarat
266. Qian Xi Teng, activist
267. Ratheesh P K, Jawaharlal Nehru University
268. Bittu Kondaiah
269. Maya Pramod Research Scholar
270. Navaneetha Mokkil, JNU
271. Santhosh S. Ambedkar University, Delhi
272. Dr.O.K.Santhosh, Assistant professor, Department of Malayalam, University of Madras