Al Salamu 'Alaykum.New Delhi: Shocked and outraged at the venomous, offensive and inflammatory article of writer-politician-economist Subramanian Swamy, the students and faculties of Harvard University have called on the varsity to sever its ties with Swamy who teaches economics at Harvard Summer School.
They have started an online petition after Swamy’s op-ed titled “How to wipe out Islamic terror” that was published on July 16 in Daily News and Analysis (DNA), a Mumbai-based daily newspaper.
In his venomous piece, Swamy recommended demolishing the 300 mosques that Hindu fanatics claim, disenfranchising non-Hindus who do not acknowledge their alleged Hindu ancestry and banning conversion from Hinduism but no bar on reconversion to Hinduism. He also advocated to declare India a Hindu Rashtra with no non-Hindu as elected representative.Swamy’s article was published three days after the Mumbai serial bombings of July 13.
The students of Harvard have reacted sharply terming him as “religious extremist” and demanded Harvard to end its association with him. They have started an online petition and so far 280 people including students, faculties, other staff members and others have signed it.“We the undersigned members of the Harvard community are outraged to learn that Subramanian Swamy, an Indian politician whose recent editorial shows him to be a bigoted promoter of communalism in India, also teaches economics at Harvard University Summer School. We demand that the Harvard administration repudiate Swamy's remarks and terminate his association with the University,” reads the beginning paragraph of the petition.
“Writing in the wake of the July 13, 2011, bombings in Mumbai, Swamy has exploited this event not only to promote a vision of Indian society based on Hindu supremacy, but to disparage and cast suspicion on the entire Muslim community in India. "Muslims of India," he states, "are being programmed by a slow reactive process to become radical and thus slide into suicide against Hindus."
“While free expression and the vigorous contest of ideas are essential in any academic community, so, too, are respect and tolerance for human difference. By advocating measures that would grossly violate freedom of religion and the unqualified right to vote for different religious groups, and by aggressively vilifying an entire religious community, Swamy breaches the most basic standards of respect and tolerance.”
The petition further says: “Swamy's views are deeply offensive; they are also dangerous. The measures he proposes--far out of step with the everyday secularism and tolerance embodied by most Indians--would threaten to tear apart the basic fabric of India's pluralist democracy. And, as Indians know too well, the brand of rhetoric that he employs has fueled violence against religious minorities in the past.”
“In short, we the undersigned condemn Subramanian Swamy and the views that he has expressed in the strongest terms. Someone who voices such ideas while continuing to teach at Harvard seriously compromises the University's integrity, undermining its commitment to diversity and tolerance. Subramanian Swamy can have no place in the Harvard community.”
Among the 280 signatories so far, there are 54 Harvard undergraduates, 61 Graduate students and 43 alumni and 107 others.