One organization Overseas Friends of India (Canada) is reporting the following incident of Left repression on the campus of Carleton University in Canada. OFI Canada’s press release is reproduced below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OFI Thwarts Attempt to Suppress Dialogue on Indian Civilization
Ottawa, Canada (May 6th, 2017) – On May 3rd, 2017. Dr. Makarand R. Paranjape, poet, philosopher, author and Professor of English Literature at Jawaharlal Nehru University, was blocked from recording a conversation on “Drishti: Is there an Indian Way of Seeing?” with Adjunct Professor Dr. Harsha Dehejia at Carleton University. This was done at the behest of a faculty member of Indian origin, Assistant Professor Chinnaiah Jangam, Department of History, who managed to browbeat his employer viz. Carleton University to cancel a video recording that expressed Indic Civilizational viewpoint. The subject matter was purely academic-philosophical and aesthetic, in nature, and quite unrelated to Asst. Prof. Jangam’s area of expertise, Dalit Studies, but Dr. Jangam chose to fling absurd abuses at Prof. Paranjape, alleging “hate speech”, right outside the recording studio. So intense was the ruckus created by Asst. Prof. Jangam that the studio administrator was intimidated into canceling the scheduled recording. Dr. Harsha Dehejia, the host, was forced to walk back along his guest, shaken and indignant.
Dr. Paranjape’s colleagues and fellow academicians were shocked to hear such vitriol against India by a fellow academician of Indian origin. Ideological reasoning of “Dalit activism” was employed to justify the intellectual venom against the Indian state and civilization. When contacted, Dr. Paranjape said that he “has never supported discrimination on the basis of caste, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, or sexual preference. It is indeed sad and disturbing,” he added, “when ideological masks are used to advance India-hating or India-bashing by intolerant groups who call themselves progressive or ‘Leftist,’ but end up suppressing freedom of expression and debate on campuses all over the world.” When Dr. Gautam Sen, economist and former professor at London School of Economics, heard about this incident, he said, “A few days earlier, I attended an illuminating talk by Dr. Paranjape on identity politics at Queen Mary, University of London, which was well-received by an appreciative audience. His patience and courtesy dealing with hostile and hard Leftists in the audience, who apparently attended to disrupt, was exemplary. I can scarcely believe him capable of discourtesy, let alone hate speech.”
Following this incident of suppressing free speech, a determined group of Indo-Canadian concerned citizens, most of them highly qualified professionals, civil servants, and friends of India, rose up to challenge the forces of intimidation and “intellectual terrorism.” Overseas Friends of India (OFI) decided to arrange a meeting for Dr. Paranjape to speak, albeit at short notice. The very next evening on May 4th Dr. Paranjape addressed a sizable audience of Indo-Canadians, touching a number of issues, including the topic for which he had come to visit Carleton University. A fitting reply was thus offered to Asst. Prof. Jangam’s machinations to shut down academic freedom of expression at Carleton.
Mr. Shiv Bhasker, the leader of the OFI in Ottawa, and the principal organizer of the resistance expressed satisfaction at the turn of events. He said, “OFI is resolved to meet the challenge of intellectual terrorism; debate, free speech, and academic freedom should not be stifled on Canadian campuses by ideological crusaders, regardless of their persuasion.”
The organization is contemplating taking the issue further with the administration of Carleton University.