Atanu Dey On India's Development

Dr Swamy’s Courses at Harvard University

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I support Dr Subramanian Swamy’s right to express his views and I support Harvard University’s right to remove Dr Swamy’s economics courses from Harvard’s summer teaching roster. Academic freedom — which includes the freedom to choose whom you allow to teach in your institution — is as important as freedom of expression. We, the third party, have the freedom to decide whether or not we wish to support Harvard. Given a choice, I will not support Harvard University. Note the distinction between “supporting Harvard” and “supporting the rights of Harvard.”

Following this incident, I would not support Harvard because I believe Harvard has been bought by interests inimical to free inquiry and free expression. A Saudi prince gave $20 million to Harvard in 2005, reported the Washington Post on Dec 13th, 2005:

A prominent Saudi businessman said yesterday that he is donating $20 million each to Georgetown and Harvard universities for the study of Islam and the Muslim world as part of his philanthropic efforts to promote interfaith understanding.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, a member of the Saudi royal family, . . . said his $20 million donation to Harvard will fund its Islamic studies program, which crosses many disciplines.

Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers expressed gratitude to Alwaleed, saying in a statement yesterday that his gift “will enable us to recruit additional faculty of the highest caliber, adding to our strong team of professors . . . [in] this important area of scholarship.”

As a comment to the Harvard Crimson article of Dec 7th puts it,

Harvard is a glamorous whore which is up for sale to the highest bidder. Swamy was naive to believe that all the Arab money puring into Harvard would not taint its soul.

Talking of tainted souls, I think that the most tainted of all souls belongs collectively to the Hindus: they are mute spectators to the harm that Hindus suffer. Dr Swamy points it out in his DNA op-ed, the article for which he is being censored:

In one sense, I do not blame the Muslim fanatics for targeting Hindus. I blame us Hindus who have taken their individuality permitted in Sanatana Dharma to the extreme. Millions of Hindus can assemble without state patronage for Kumbh Mela completely self-organised, but they all leave for home oblivious of the targeting of Hindus in Kashmir, Mau, Melvisharam and Malappuram and do not lift their little finger to help organise Hindus. For example, if half the Hindus vote together rising above their caste and language, a genuine Hindu party will have a two-thirds majority in Parliament and Assemblies.

(Dr Swamy’s op-ed, “How to Wipe out Islamic Terror“, is not longer available on the DNA site. A copy of the article can be read at Atlas Shrugs.)

There is a move among some Hindus to petition Harvard University president to reverse the decision of the vote that removed Dr Swamy’s courses. This is wrong-headed. Harvard has the right to do what it did and you have the right to go to Harvard or not. Vote with your feet. But curbing Harvard’s freedom to choose its faculty is not a good way to support freedom of expression.

Here are some interesting articles related to the affair. Harvard Cosmopolitans Gone Wild by Carl L. Bankston III:

Summer courses are assigned at the pleasure of the university and the university does have the right to cancel courses it does not want to offer. Nevertheless, Harvard’s faculty body clearly made a very bad decision here. At the most basic level, an employer is making a decision about the continuation of an employee on the basis of political activities completely unrelated to the job, there being no support whatsoever for the claim that Swamy “might” be unfair to some students. Beyond that, FIRE is correct that the university is a special kind of employer, one that has a moral obligation to protect and promote intellectual pluralism. In a university, ideas that someone finds objectionable should be rebutted, not silenced or excluded. But this case actually goes beyond the open expression of views on campus. Harvard’s Arts & Sciences faculty, in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, is taking action to officially repudiate an article published in a newspaper in India about politics in India by an Indian citizen.

Anyone aware of my own paper trail should expect me to uphold the right of individuals in Massachusetts or anywhere else to hold informed, semi-informed, and utterly uninformed opinions and judgments about everything under and beyond the stars. While we cannot extend the protections of the U.S. Constitution to people outside the U.S., as human beings we can certainly be certainly be concerned about how our fellow human beings treat other humans everywhere and at all times. But I cannot see why the organization of the faculty at Harvard, as an institutional entity, should have any business taking positions on what are acceptable or unacceptable opinions for Indians on political and social questions in India.

Scott Jaschik writing in Inside Higher Ed, Over the Line

Under Harvard’s governance system, the faculty vote is final, and does not require administrative approval. A spokesman for the university released only a brief statement: “Members of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences each year vote to approve or amend the course list for the Harvard Summer School. Yesterday, the faculty voted to approve the curriculum for the Summer School for the coming summer session with the exception of two courses, about which there was considerable discussion.”

On his Twitter feed, Swamy said that the vote at Harvard was “nothing serious,” explaining that “non-economists at Harvard don’t like my views on how to protect India.”

Citing Eck and a colleague who also wanted his courses dropped, Swamy also tweeted: “I have been held accountable at Harvard for what I write in India. This means India studies’ [Michael] Witzel and Eck are accountable in India. Healthy?”

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has spoken out against Harvard’s taking any action against Swamy on the basis of his op-ed. The organization’s blog noted that Swamy’s op-ed calls for radical social change in India, but FIRE noted that American principles of free expression extend to calls for radical social change. As an example, it cited the legal right for people to call for the United States to become a communist country.

“We tolerate the widest possible range of political, social, cultural, and religious views because, for one thing, we trust in the marketplace of ideas to eventually sort it all out,” the blog post said.

Pamela Geller, in Harvard Sells Out Free Speech to Islamic Supremacism, writes:

Some of Swamy’s recommendations reflect the deep crisis that he sees in India. He urged that “whatever and however small the terrorist incident, the nation must retaliate—not by measured and ‘sober’ responses, but by massive retaliation. Otherwise what is the alternative? Walk meekly to death expecting that our ‘sober’ responses will be rewarded by our neighbors and their patrons? We will be back to 1100 A.D., fooled into suicidal credulity. We should not be ghouls for punishment from terrorists and their patrons. We should retaliate.”

Accordingly, he recommended that when Islamic jihadists “blast our temples and kill Hindu devotees,” that mosques should also be “removed” as a “tit-for-tat.” In light of Islamic efforts to “make India into Darul Islam” (that is, the House of Islam, land ruled by Islamic law), Swamy said that India should “implement Uniform Civil Code, make Sanskrit learning compulsory and singing of “Vande Mataram” mandatory, and declare India as Hindu Rashtra in which only those non-Hindus can vote if they proudly acknowledge that their ancestors are Hindus.”

People who sincerely believe in human rights and want to defend free societies against the Islamic jihad may disagree that some of Swamy’s recommendations are necessary or appropriate. But is it not central to this Ivy League university and every institution in these United States to “protect free speech, including that of Dr Swamy and of those who disagree with him”?

Where does Harvard address the truth of Swamy’s remarks, or the 80 million Hindus slaughtered in jihadi wars, land appropriations, cultural annihilations and enslavements?

India, along with Israel, southern Sudan and so many other places, have been the battlefields in endless bloody wars to install a universal caliphate, the objective of the global jihad.

Freedom of speech protects all speech, not just the ideas that we like. That’s the point. Who decides what’s good and what’s forbidden? Harvard? The Islamic supremacists who are seeking to impose the Sharia restriction on free speech?

Harvard has been bought and sold to the highest Sharia bidder. In December 2005, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal donated $20 million each to Harvard University and Georgetown University to fund Islamic studies.

It is dire. I cannot believe this is America.

Yes, this is America. This is what used to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

In any event, this is not about the United States but about India. India is doomed unless Indian’s respond collectively to the threats that India faces. One of the most urgent things we have to do is to get rid of the Congress and stop their agenda of destroying India. We have to vote them out or we will surely perish.

  • RC

    I do not agree with Mr Swamy’s call for Hindu Rashtra, but I am incensed about Harvard’s capitulation to a couple of looneys. Shame on Harvard.

  • http://www.parrikar.com Rajan P. Parrikar

    What is that poseur Amartya’s view on this?

  • New Anonymous

    http://www.themoralliberal.com/2011/12/14/note-on-the-swamy-case/
    he has mentioned Hashimpura case where Muslims were massacred. Swamy went on an indefinite fast.

    The link mentioned about Hashimpura fast on Prof Carl Bankstons link does not work. Here is another super leftist link confirming Swamys genuine concern.

    http://www.pucl.org/Topics/Human-rights/2006/hashimpura.html

    which shows how pseudosecularism works in India.

  • Loknath

    Would Harvard issue a regret statement of having awarded a degree to P Chidambaram once convicted on charges of treason and bigotry by the Indian courts. Surely PC got his degree on oath of upholding and protecting law, justice and fairness to all.

    We should remind the board of trustees of H company to once again rise on a moral high pedestal

  • http://anirudh2189.wordpress.com Anirudh

    This is not related to this post but I could find no other point of contact with you.
    I watched your video in the Chennai Shala. This was the video I watched
    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/18347397

    There are two questions that I would like to ask:
    1. You said that if a person or a factory causes pollution, then they should just pay the compensation to the parties affected and be done with it. But there is a lasting damage done to the environment that we might not be able to fix, with any amount of cash or research in that direction. I dont think environmental damage can be just bought off. What do you have to say about this?

    2. You said it is surprising that in India we dont have right to property. I completely agree that not having right to property in the present day India is preposterous.
    Soon after Independence, land from many zamindars was transferred to the farmer who tilled on that land. I am all for property right but I think here it might have been a good thing to make the farmers the owner of the land. I assume this amounts to violation of property rights of the zamindars. What do you have to say about property rights in this context?
    And more recently there are farmers who are protesting against SEZs being built and are ironically asking for a reinstatement of the right to property. Will this not hamper urbanization? Your views?

    Would be very glad if you could answer these questions. Thank you.

  • Vin

    I wonder why the whole world is into appeasing this Fundamentally Unsecular religion? One needs to get to the roots of why and how they are able to muzzle the media, buy politician and even muzzle Citadels of education such as HARVARD…..

    Once we are able understand their modus operandi, it may be easier to counter their nefarious/anti-social/unsecular/homicidal tendencies it…

    My Analysis on their influence in various areas:

    1. Politicians/Parties via
    a. Vote Bank:
    b. Money Power to buy corrupt politician

    2. Media
    a. Can be Influenced from politicians/parties
    b. Money to create new Media channels
    c. Bribes media directly to spread their propoganda

    3. Educational Insititutes:
    a. Funding as in the case of Harvard becoming concubine number 73…

    4. Jihadi Indoctrination and Consolidation Tactics:
    a. 4 years, 4 month and 4 day is the official age of a kid to begin his religious studies….The kid is indoctrinated into hating a pig right at this age :) .. I have seen this first hand..
    b. Madrassah Curriculum and Maulvi’s are key to indoctrinations.. (Regulate both)
    c. Madrassah Funding from oil rich ME..Zakir Naik is one such product…

    5. Oil…the single source of 99% of their wealth… Though oil reserves are plenty as per latest discoveries in Venezuela/Canada, and 2/3 of land left unexplored still… but dependence on conventional oil still gives the middle east their biggest economic boost… If major countries create an alternate source..This can be their Achilies Heel , if not, ours….

    6. Encourage and invite progressive writers in India to air their views..ex: Salman Rushdie, Geller etc

    If there is a resolve and one has decided to counter fundamentally unsecular Ideologies, we need to be systematic at addressing all these influences ONE by ONE…

  • J

    Speaking of education in India, the results for the 2009+ PISA tests for India (Well Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh) have come in.

    https://mypisa.acer.edu.au/

    The absolute level of educational mediocrity in India is an interesting contrast to the educated anglophone Indians one encounters in the West.