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Harvard decision a dangerous precedent, says Swamy

Thursday, 08 December 2011, 10:40 Hrs   |    11 Comments
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Harvard decision a dangerous precedent, says Swamy

Washington/New Delhi: The Harvard University in the US has cancelled Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy's summer courses over his controversial article in a Mumbai newspaper, prompting him to retort that the move "stifles personal opinion". "It is a dangerous principle that stifles personal opinion," Swamy told reporters in New Delhi Thursday. In a message on micro-blogging site Twitter, Swamy added: "I have been held accountable at Harvard for what I write in India. This means India studies' Witzel and Eck are accountable in India. Healthy?" Michael Witzel and Diana L. Eck are professors at Harvard. Harvard had cancelled Swamy's summer courses over his controversial article advocating destruction of hundreds of Indian mosques and disenfranchisement of non-Hindus in India. After a heated debate, a meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Tuesday voted to remove two Summer School courses - Economics S-110 and Economics S-1316 - taught by Swamy, according to the Harvard Crimson, the campus newspaper. Swamy received significant criticism for his op-ed article last summer in the Daily News and Analysis calling for the destruction of mosques, the disenfranchisement of non-Hindus in India who do not acknowledge Hindu ancestry, and a ban on conversion from Hinduism, Harvard Crimson said. "Swamy's op-ed clearly crosses the line by demonising an entire religious community and calling for violence against their sacred places," Comparative Religion professor Diana L. Eck was quoted as saying. Harvard has a moral responsibility not to affiliate itself with anyone who expresses hatred towards a minority group, she said. "There is a distinction between unpopular and unwelcome political views." Although Harvard chose to stand by Swamy in August in an effort to affirm its declared commitment to free speech, faculty members shot down his two courses, effectively removing him from Harvard's teaching roster, the campus paper said. Many faculty members determined Swamy's article was not a product of free speech but of hate speech. "[Swamy's position on disenfranchisement] is like saying Jewish Americans and African Americans should not be allowed to vote unless they acknowledge the supremacy of white Anglo Saxon Protestants," said History professor Sugata Bose.

Source: IANS
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Reader's comments(11)
1: Yes, correct. Discussion on historical truth cannot be termed as racial or against any religion. Similarly national interest directly or indirectly also should not be damaged.
South East Asian countries had Indian culture. E.g. Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia. Now they are Muslim or Buddhists or performing any other religion. But they admire their ancient culture. They do not hate or ignore their ancient heritage. Similar is the case with Egypt. Egyptians had non-Muslim ancient culture. Now Egypt is a Muslim country. But Egyptians do admire their ancient culture.

Why Indian Muslims who opted to remain in India do not admit and admire for the ancient culture of India?
Obama though he is a Muslim and being an Indonesian have great admire for his Indonesian heritage and keeps small statue of Maruti in his pocket.
Then why the Harvard wants to apply double standards?
Posted by:shirish Mohanlal dave - 15 Dec, 2011
2: Discussion on history can not be termed as racial or anti to any religion. Similar is a case with mentality towards origin of a society. The authority of Harvard has acted under political influence. To act illogically can make you corrupted either in making money or making politics.
Posted by:shirish Mohanlal dave - 10 Dec, 2011
3: in india the mejority people needs to treat the minority as same way f,,, harvard, i am a hindu proud to be a hindu
Posted by:kumar - 09 Dec, 2011
4: Great job done bt Harvard Uni, ppl like Swami should be expelled from India for spreading "Hate Speeches" He should be learning the Indian pledge first.
Posted by:DSJ - 08 Dec, 2011
5: Haward University showed a good moral to the society. Not only Swamy should be expelled from the university he should be expelled from the politics even. India should make a law to prevent these types of racist commands from any citizen in the country. No one can support him unless he belongs to the same political group. Every one should their sincere efforts to maintain the peace and harmony between the people in the country. How dare he is to make a comment like this.
Posted by:Afzal - 08 Dec, 2011
6: Innumerable Hindu temples were destroyed, damaged and/or converted to mosques by Moslem conquerors over last thousand years. How would they react if Mecca/Madina mosques were converted to Hindu or other temples? Surely one is not suggesting doing that, but it should be used an example of the extent of hurt to sensitivities of Hindus over many centuries - and I am not a Hindu.
Posted by:APK - 08 Dec, 2011
7: How can these Harvard professors compare USA issue with Indian Issue. In USA all are immigrants, so telling all dark people that white are supreme is totally wrong where as in India all of the people are living here since ages, somewhere in the History they chose or were forced to choose Other religion than Hinduism. So today even if they accept their ancestors were Hindu and still continue to follow their today's religion its OK. That's what Dr. Swami said but other Harvard professors are moron to understand this difference.
Posted by:Dev - 08 Dec, 2011
8: its highly probable that like london school of economics, harvard too has been getting lots of money from one or more of the arab states. in a move that avoids antagonising their paymasters from the middle-east, harvard has victimised on our countryman swamy
Posted by:gerry kenny - 08 Dec, 2011
9: No extremist should be a teacher irrespective of the religion. Period.
Posted by:Kiran - 08 Dec, 2011
10: i think the prof would have not highlighted these things. If it is highlighted indirectly they are trying to make the situation worse. By the way the context is important not literal meaning of it. Definitely there is no comparison between Jews or Afro-americans with some groups from India. Lot of hatred against the hindu traditions/customs were occured and is continuing from so called minority groups. but majority hindus never pay any attentions to anything. in fact no where in the world minorities got support with the reservation system by majority groups like in India. hindus never show any discrimination any activities but they express in words which don't have any real effect on society. I strongly believe swamy will never go for physical fight against minorities nor he can influence the nation to fight against minority. govts will survive only if they support minorities. so no country in the world do need to worry about indian minorities. Only in India people can see celebrating all religious festivals X-mas, ramadan, deevali. Muslims distribute food to hindus on eed, hindus go to mosque and church etc...
Posted by:pnrk - 08 Dec, 2011
11: Who do these idiots from Havard think they are...Do they make all the rules in this world.
Posted by:Antii-Ivyleague hype - 08 Dec, 2011