(AIPWA Statement)

ABVP has submitted a letter to the VC of Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur, demanding sedition charges etc against AIPWA Vice President and professor of the University's Philosophy Department, Sudha Choudhary as well as other faculty members for hosting the AIPWA National Conference in the city.

The AIPWA National Conference was held successfully in Udaipur on 8-9 February. It was attended by noted journalist Rana Ayyub, theatre artist Du Saraswathi, women students of Jamia Millia Islamia, AMU, and JNU, as well as AIPWA delegates from all over the country. The Conference held a march against the CAA, NPR and NRC, pointing out that 70% of those left out of the Assam NRC for being undocumented, are women. The Conference resolved to fight the CAA, NPR and NRC tooth and nail, and to mobilise sustained support for the Shaheen Baghs all over India. At the Conference, the Chorus team from Patna presented a very effective skit exposing the anti Constitutional and anti poor, anti women agenda and workings of the CAA NPR NRC.

The ABVP has claimed that the AIPWA is 'anti Constitutional' and seditious because it raised anti CAA slogans. This is especially ironical given that the right to protest and agitate against governments and even against unjust laws is recognised and protected by India's Constitution. It is in fact the sedition law, the CAA, as well as the NPR and NRC that are anti Constitution, because they seek to punish dissent.

This is not the first time Comrade Sudha Choudhary has been targeted by ABVP. 5 years ago she had invited a retired academic from DU to present a paper at a seminar on religion. The academic in question was critical of the Left and also of Western scholars writing about Hindu religion. Comrade Sudha invited him although he disagreed with her politics. But ABVP demanded action against both Comrade Sudha and the visiting academic. They circulated a video clip of the visiting professor citing works of the Western scholars he was critiquing, to claim that he was "abusing Hindu gods". This would be laughable and absurd except that the police did actually file a case against the professor. In the ABVP and Sangh scheme of things, scholarship itself (including actually reading and citing books to critique them) is taboo, as is dissent.

We call for solidarity with Comrade Sudha Choudhary and AIPWA, as well as all the other faculty members of the the University who are the targets of the ABVP witch-hunt.