A group of 232 sociologists has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi telling him they are “deeply disturbed by the ongoing events in the country”, and asking him to address the state of affairs. The signatories, which include current and former professors from universities across the country, condemned the “growing attacks on students, faculty and staff”, saying they have prevented members of the academy from exercising their right to a peaceful expression of beliefs.

The letter expressed solidarity with Professors Vivek Kumar of Jawaharlal Nehru University and Rajesh Misra of Lucknow University, whose recent public lectures have been “violently disrupted” by members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, they said. The signatories added that “scholars must have the freedom to speak, write and reflect on social issues and their voice should not be muzzled”. They insisted that “curbing scholarly freedom is against the national interest”, and detrimental to “public discourse in independent India”.