New Delhi: Four international organizations as well as renowned scholar Noam Chomsky and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Rajmohan Gandhi, have unequivocally condemned the prolonged incarceration of scholar and activist Umar Khalid.
Hindus for Human Rights, Indian American Muslim Council, Dalit Solidarity Forum and India Civil Watch International have called for the immediate release of Khalid who was arrested on September 14, 2020, for what Delhi police claimed was his ties to the commune. from northeast Delhi. violence that year. Police have tried to link their role in leading protests in late 2019 and early 2020 against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act to violence.
Khalid was denied bail by a Delhi court on March 23, after his bail order was postponed three times. He appealed to the Delhi High Court against the decision, with the court’s arguments presented by his legal team often seeking to underscore how tenuous the prosecution case against Khalid is.
Khalid’s case, Chomsky said in his recorded statement, “is one of many that cast a dark light on India’s justice system during a time of repression, and often violence, that has visibly undermined free institutions and justice. free practice of citizenship rights, as part of the large-scale government effort to dismantle India’s honorable tradition of secular democracy and impose a Hindu ethnocracy.
Chomsky also noted that “the the only credible evidence presented is that he was exercising his constitutional right to speak and protest, a fundamental prerogative of citizenship in a free society.
Chomsky observed that the very nature of Indian democracy, which had been praised for its recovery from brutal British rule, has recently regressed in a “deeply saddening” way.
“We can all only hope that the courageous defense of freedom of justice by many young activists will succeed in reversing this tragic course, and pave the way for India’s return to leadership in the search for a world best, he who honors peace. and justice, drawing on India’s rich and awe-inspiring tradition,” Chomsky said.
Gandhi, who is a research professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, also released a video statement similar to Chomsky’s, highlighting Khalid’s academic contributions as a doctoral student at JNU, stating that “in [Khalid]India has one of its finest minds, bolstered by a sensitive conscience…this bright young son of India has now been silenced for 20 consecutive months.
Gandhi observed that “Khalid’s continued silence is a stain on India’s image in the world and an obstacle to India’s progress”.
Gandhi also sought to place the wrongful detention of rights defenders on the map of a struggle seen globally.
“We all know that today there is a global struggle between supremacy and equality, which is also a struggle between autocracy and democracy, and between coercion and human dignity. India is at the center of this struggle. Every additional day of detention for Umar and the other unjustly detained, who number in the thousands, is a further blow to democracy in the world, to human dignity and to the good name of India,” he said. -he declares.
He added that those in detention or under duress who do not benefit from a speedy, fair and public trial “provide eloquent evidence of the shortcomings of their country’s democracy”.