To

The Honorable Chairperson

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

New Delhi

Dear Sir

Sub: Online harassment and caste violence against Dr. Murmu

Dr. Maroona Murmu is an Associate Professor of the Department of History, Jadavpur University. In the Brahmanical landscape of academia in West Bengal, she is one of the few Adivasi women to have catapulted into success and prominence. Dr. Murmu is vocal on the rights of Adivasis and regularly addresses the issue of violence against Adivasis on print and other media. For this, she is heavily attacked by various individuals who cannot come to terms with the lopsided power dynamics that is rigged against Adivasis.

As academics, artists and members of civil society, we have been appalled at the casteist hatred Dr. Murmu has had to face. Her credibility as an academic and her ability to teach are regularly questioned. More recently, this has catapulted into name calling over her Adivasi and Santhal heritage. A case in point is a shameful attack on Dr. Murmu by a student of the esteemed Department of Bengali, Bethune College, one Paromita Ghosh. On 3rd September, 2020, Dr. Murmu had in a social media post expressed her opinion that the loss of one year is nothing compared to the loss of life. Therefore, according to Dr. Murmu, examinations should not be held during the pandemic. Ms. Ghosh assumed that Dr. Murmu is speaking from the privileged position of a quota beneficiary. Further, Ms. Ghosh referred to those who access caste and community-based reservations as “meritless idiots” (“jogyotaheen opodartho”). Ms. Ghosh on a social media post “reminded” Dr. Murmu that she is after all a Santhal Adivasi and she and academics like her draw their pay checks without any actual labour.

Not only is this extremely insulting towards academics who provide the valuable service of knowledge production to the economy, it is thoroughly insulting to the academic credentials of Dr. Murmu. It is our assumption that no student would ever make a similarly insulting comment towards an upper caste professor, more so since academia in West Bengal is an extremely hierarchized affair (quite unfortunately).

The attempts of the same student to justify her blatantly casteist action by claiming that she is respectful towards another minority academic also constructs a binary of who can and who cannot be respected. Further, the student claimed that Dr. Murmu and those like her use their surnames to access undue advantages and if they do not want to be insulted, they should remove their surnames and stop accessing all government “benefits” that their surnames bring them. This is blatant victim blaming as Ms. Ghosh is blaming Dr. Murmu for the insults Ms. Ghosh has herself heaped upon Dr. Murmu. Ms. Ghosh has constructed her caste hatred as rightful anger, thereby dressing her violence in a garb of legitimacy. When the Head of the Department of Bengali, Bethune College made a social media post about the repeated ill behaviour of the student (Paromita Ghosh) in question, online violence forced her to delete the post.

Our casteist society does not sensitize its young members of the long history of violence against Adivasis, Dalits, and Bahujans and the need for affirmative action for the purpose of representation which has been previously stolen from them. Plenty like this student abound in our society and if someone as illustrious as Dr. Murmu can fall prey to such violence, it chills us to think of what the average Adivasi student must go through in academic spaces. Keeping in mind all those Adivasi students, academics and staff who struggle every day, we request the Honorable Commission for Scheduled Tribes to:

1. To take cognizance of the ongoing violence against Dr. Murmu and direct an impartial investigation into the same

2. To direct strict action and implementation of the Prevention of Atrocities Act, as a deterrent to people who stoop to using caste violence

3. To institute a mechanism where victims/survivors of caste violence can have their grievances addressed without fear of reprisals

Looking forward to prompt action from your side.

Regards,

Prof. Romila Thapar, Writer and Historian

Tanika Sarkar, Professor (retd.), Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Sumit Sarkar, Professor (retd.), History, Delhi University

Supriya Chaudhuri, Emeritus Professor, Jadavpur University

Bobby Kunhu, Lawyer and Writer

Ruby Hembrom, publisher, adivaani.

Kunal Chattopadhyay, Professor of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University

Samita Sen, Vere Hamsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History, University of Cambridge

Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Distinguished Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies & Dean’s Professor of Humanities, Syracuse University.

Kaustav Bakshi, Department of English, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

Satya P. Mohanty, Professor of English, Cornell University.

Ayesha Kidwai, Professor of Linguistics, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Rimi B. Chatterjee, Professor of English, Jadavpur University.

Vinutha Mallya, editor and journalist.

Nandini Sundar, Professor of Sociology, Delhi University

Prasad Chacko, Social Activist, Ahmedabad

Namrata Sharma, Rural Development Professional, Bihar

Surya Shankar Dash, Filmmaker, Odisha

P S Manoj Kumar, Assistant Professor (History], Sri C Achutha Menon Govt College, Thrissur

Khadijah Faruqui, Human rights activist, New Delhi

Rahi Soren, Assistant Professor, Jadavpur University

Mythri Prasad- Aleyamma, Post doctoral fellow, Graduate Center, City University of New York.

V. Sasi Kumar, Climate Kerala, Pama Institute for the Advancement of Transdisciplinary Sciences.

Dr. Suresh Kumar, Associate Professor (Rtd.) The Zamorin’s Guruvayurappan College, University of Calicut, Kerala

P J Cherian, Pama Institute for the Advancement of Transdisciplinary Sciences.

Ekabali Ghosh, M. Phil. student, Dept. of English, Jadavpur University.

N. Paul Divakar, Convenor, Global Forum on DWD & Asia Dalit Rights Forum

Neetisha Xalxo, Assistant Professor ,Hindi, Daulat Ram College, University of Delhi.

Sameer Bhagat, Author, Ranchi, Jharkhand.

Dr.Gomati Bodra Hembrom,Associate Professor,Department of Sociology,Jamia Millia Islamia,New Delhi

Virginius Xaxa, Former Professor of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics.Lukmanul

Hakeem.K, Assistant Professor of History, University of Calicut, Kerala

Jagadish G Chandra, Political activist, Bangalore.

Rosemary Marandi, Freelance Journalist and Writer, Goa

Nandini Saha, Professor of English, Jadavpur university, Kolkata

Ramesh Kamble,Formerly, Head, Department of Sociology, University of Mumbai

Reep Pandi Lepcha, Assistant Professor, Nar Bahadur Bhandari Degree College, Sikkim.

Alf Gunvald Nilsen, Professor, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Richard Toppo, PhD researcher, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Marva. M, Illustrator, Writer, Kerala.

Akash Poyam, Copy editor, The Caravan, New Delhi

N.Rajaram, Former Professor, Central University of Gujarat

Sujata Sahani , Ph.D Scholar, Department of Odia Language and Literature, Ravenshaw University, Cuttack,Odisha.

Subhajit Naskar, Assistant Professor, Dept. of International Relations, Jadavpur University.

Cheran Subramanian, Software Engineer, Sunnyvale, US

Bipasha Rosy Lakra, Assistant Professor, department of Political Science, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi.

Anjali Rai, Communication Officer, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, New Delhi

Priyanka Das, Assistant Professor of English, Presidency University, Kolkata

Mahitosh Mandal, Assistant Professor of English, Presidency University, Kolkata

Neeladri Bhattacharya, Professor (Rtd.), Centre for Historical Studies, JNU.

Debolina Biswas, Assistant Professor, Gurudas College, Kolkata

Tathagata Sengupta, Reader, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR, Mumbai.

Sangeeta Dasgupta, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU, New Delhi.

Dr Suvrashree Panda, Assistant Professor, National law University Odisha

Regina Hansda, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University, UK

Sukesh Ekka, Software Consultant, UK

Ninian Nauneet Kujur, Assistant Professor, Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi, Delhi

Aniruddha Dutta, Associate Professor, University of Iowa.

Prosenjit Das, student, activist, Ranaghat.

Aashish Khakha, ICSSR Doctoral Fellow, School of Development Studies, TISS Mumbai

Abdul Matin, Asst Professor, Jadavpur University, kolkata

Hembrom Mrinal, Associate Consultant, Pdag, New Delhi & Ranchi

Dr FARHANA KHATOON, Assistant Professor, vivekananda College Madhyamgram Kolkata.

Karan P, Analyst, Mumbai

Suman Marandi, Advocate, Jharkhand High Court.

Afsal Rahman, Journalist, New Delhi

Chinmaya Shah, Dev Professional, Uttarakhand

Rajkumar Bidla, International.Development Consultant, London, United Kingdom

Anupama Mohan, Assistant Professor of English, Presidency University

Suddhaseel Sen, Assistant Professor of English, IIT-Bombay

Tithi Bhattacharya, Professor, Purdue University

Utsa Ray, Department of History, Jadavpur University

Chandrani Banerjee Mukherjee, Department of History, Jadavpur University

Tilottama Mukherjee, Associate Professor, Department of History, Jadavpur University

Suchetana Chattopadhyay, Associate Professor, Department of History, Jadavpur University.

Samarpita Mitra, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Jadavpur University

Swati Moitra, Assistant Professor, Gurudas College, University of Calcutta

Shibthakur Hembram, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Presidency University.

Shayeari Dutta, Assistant Professor, Surendranath College, University of Calcutta.

Anuradha Roy, Professor, Department of History, Jadavpur University

Sumit Chakrabarti, Professor of English, Presidency University

Beena Pallical, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights

Achin Vanaik, Retd. Professor, University of Delhi

Pranav Jani, Associate Professor, Department of English, Ohio State University

Mousumi Mandal, Assistant Professor, Presidency University

Kasturi Basu, Independent documentary filmmaker and writer, Kolkata

A P Rajaram, Department of Performing Arts, Presidency University

Lakshmi Menon, Assistant Professor, VTM NSS College, University of Kerala

Prithviraj Guha, Assistant Professor, Presidency University

Soumendu Chatterjee, Professor in Geography, Presidency University, Kolkata.

Sujay Thakur, Assistant Professor, Gangadharpur Mahavidyamandir, University of Calcutta

Dr. Samana Madhuri, Assistant Professor, Chandrakona Vidyasagar Mahavidyalaya, Vidyasagar University

Jahira Hossain, Assistant Professor, Surendranath College, University of Calcutta

Amita Kanekar, Independent Researcher and Novelist

Sharanya, Cultural Activist, Koraput

Rajaraman, Researcher, Koraput

Sayan Bhattacharya, Doctoral Candidate, University of Minnesota

Bindu M Mannil , Faculty Member, Azim Premji University, Bangalore

Nandita Dhawan, Director, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University

Senjuti Ghosh, student of DHCI at SCTR; Researcher at KnIDS

Dr. Atasi Nanda Goswami, Research coordinator, Centre for Knowledge Ideas and Development (KnIDS)

Soma Mandal, Jadavpur University

Ashwini dash, student, Ravenshaw University, Cuttack

Manas Ghosh, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

Abhijit Gupta, Department of English, Jadavpur University

Asim Mondal, Department of English, Ramakrishna Mission Residential College (Autonomous), Narendrapur.

Sudeshna Banerjee, Department of History, Jadavpur University

Samhita Barooah, Queer Up, Guwahati, Assam

Nagesh Rao, Colgate University, Hamilton, USA

Johny Joel Tudu, Advocate, Delhi

Amites Mukhopadhyay, Department of Sociology, Jadavpur University

Binita Ekka, MPhil scholar in Psychiatric Social work, TISS, Mumbai

Sony Silvanus Tudu, student

Rahul K, student, TISS, Mumbai

Lalrinawmi, Research Fellow, Department of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University

Supriyo Das, Presidency University

Sanjib Biswas, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geology, Presidency University, Kolkata

Partha Pratim Ray, General Secretary, Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association

Sumit Adhikari, Global Head, Talent Engagement and Development, RMSI, Noida

Sudip Kumar Naskar, Associate Professor, Computer Science & Engineering., Jadavpur University

Durba Basu, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Swarnamoyee Jogendranath Mahavidyalaya, Purba Medinipur.

Chintan kr Mandal,Dept of Comp Sc and Engn., Jadavpur University

Dhiraj Barman, Department of Geography, Presidency University, Kolkata

Arijit Sen, Researcher, Kolkata

Dipak Kesh, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

Anirban Mondal, PhD student. CSSSC/JU

Piyali Sur, Professor, Department of Sociology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

Bhimsen Tudu, Assistant Professor, Department of Power Engg, Jadavpur University

Anwesha Sengupta, Assistant Professor, Institute of Development Studies Kolkata (IDSK)

Debolina Chatterjee, Assistant Professor, Sociology J.D.Birla Institute Kolkata

Kopal, Assistant Professor, English Literature, AUD

Kaustubh Mani Sengupta, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Bankura University

Irani Banerji Chatterjee, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Mugberia Gangadhar Mahavidyalaya, Purba Medinipore

Gargi Gangopadhyay, Department of English, Ramakrishna Sarada Mission Vivekananda Vidyabhavan

Mala Mitra, Professor,Department of Physics, Sister Nivedita University

Dr. Gargi Saha Kesh, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Vijoygarh Jyotish Ray College, Kolkata

Abhijit Roy, Professor, Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University

Adharshila Chatterjee, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Women’s Christian College, Kolkata

Soma Roy, Associate Professor, Department of English, Women’s Christian College,Kolkata

Anirban Bhattacharya, Research Head, Centre for Equity Studies

Dr. Santi Saren, Assistant Professor, Department of Bengali, Presidency University.

Shahnaz Begum, Assistant Professor, Purnidevi Chowdhury Girls’ College, Bolpur, Birbhum.

Sarbani Bandyopadhyay, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, St.

Xavier’s College

Saugata Bhaduri, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Hurmal Saren, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Maharaja Manindra Chandra College

Akanksha Tirkey , M.A. Final Year , Banaras Hindu University .

Mahashweta Acharjee, UG Student, Department of English, Women’s Christian College, Kolkata.

Kaustav Bakshi, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Jadavpur University.

Sreya Acharyay, UG Student, Department of English, Women’s Christian College, Kolkata.

Sunando Kr. Patra, Assistant Professor, Bangabasi Evening College, Kolkata

Urba Chaudhuri, Education Worker, Kolkata

Subhajit Das, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Presidency University, Kolkata

Sreemati Mukherjee, Professor, Department if Performing Arts, Presidency University

Aditi Mukherji, Principal Researcher, International Water Management Institute, New Delhi office, and IPCC author

Annie Barla, student B.Sc. Forestry, BAU, Kanke, Jharkhand

Susmita Adhikari, Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University

Rangeet Sengupta, Assistant Professor, Khejuri College, Purba Medinipur

Kingsuk Dasgupta, Doctoral Scholar, Dept. of History, Jadavpur University.

Amrita DasGupta, alumnus School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University.

Bratati Hore (Sen), Associate Professor, S.N.College for Women, Kolkata.

Niladri R. Chatterjee, Professor, University of Kalyani.

Probal Dasgupta, Retired Professor, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.

Benil Biswas, Assistant Professor, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University Delhi.

Sudeshna Mitra, PG Student,Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Calcutta.

Chitrangada Choudhury, Journalist and Researcher

Surjya Kumar Das, Ph. D Scholar, Jadavpur University

Dr. Shampa Sarkar Biswas, Assistant Professor Department of Life sciences,

Presidency University, Kolkata

Prof. Tarun Kanti Naskar, Mechanical Engg. Department, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

Riddhima Sharma, FemPositive

Samira Nadkarni, Assistant Professor, Department of English, St. Andrew’s College, Mumbai.

Prof. Nupur Dasgupta, Department of History, Jadavpur University

Mr. Saheb Ram Tudu, Assistant Professor, Department of Plastic Arts, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

Manoranjan Joddar,Bangabasi college

Dipesh Majumdar Assistant Professor Department of Construction Engineering Jadavpur University

Nazes Afroz, Journalist and Photographer

Samir Adhikary, Assistant Professor in philosophy, NBS Mahavidyalaya

Shilpa Mondal, Ph.d Research Scholar, Department of History, Jadavpur University.

Sravasti Chattopadhyay, Associate Professor, Department of English, Mahadevananda Mahavidyalaya, Monirampore, Barrackpore, West Bengal

Sugata Hazra, Professor, Oceanographic Studies, Jadavpur University

Dipayan Rudra. PhD.

Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), South Korea

Jessica Kandulna, Student, BHU

Sandip Ain, Professor of English, Bankura University.

Prof. Nandadulal Bairagi, Department of

Mathematics, Jadavpur University

Meeta Bala, Assistant Professor, Kalipada Ghosh Tarai Mahavidyalaya, Bagdogra.

TUHIN HAQUE, Research Scholar, Jadavpur University,Kolkata

Dr Nirmal Kumar Mahato, Assistant Professor, University of Gour Banga

Dr Trishna Sarkar, Asst Prof, University of Delhi.

Kaberi Mondal, Ph.d Research Scholar, Department of History, Jadavpur University.

Dr. Gopalji Pradhan, Professor, AUD

Dr. Suchetana Chattopadhyay, Associate Professor, Jadavpur University

Dr. Randall Sequeira, independent practioner, Kalahandi, Odisha

Pranati H., Student, Tata Institute of Social Sciences- Guwahati

Malini Ghosh, Ph. D research scholar, Department of History, Jadavpur University

Anindya Mukherjee, Mountaineer, Adventurist.

Varuni Bhatia, Associate Professor, School of Arts and Sciences, Azim Premji University, Bangalore

Prof.Sumita Mukhopadhyay

HOD,Department of Bengali

BethuneCollege

Ms.Indira Banerjee, phD student, Jadavpur University

Preeta Bhattacharya , Assistant Professor, Department of Ancient Indian History and Culture, University of Calcutta

Basundhara Chakraborty, PhD scholar, Department of English, Jadavpur University

Ritwik Bagchi, PhD Research scholar, Department of History, Jadavpur University

Subhasree Basu, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Loreto College, Kolkata

Poulami Ray. Phd student Dept of History Jadavpur University.

Swati Hansda,Assistant Professor, Department of Geography,Mahadevananda Mahavidyalaya, Monirampore,Barrackpore.

Priyankara Chakraborty, PhD Research Scholar, Department of history, Jadavpur University

Bhaswati Chatterjee, Associate Professor, Vidyasagar College, Kolkata.

Anasuya Bhar, Associate Professor, St. Paul’s Cathedral Mission College, Kolkata.

Sunanda Ray, Associate Professor, Department of English, Maharaja Srischandra College, Kolkata.

Mayurakshi Das, Assistant Professor, Departmentt of History, TDB College, Raniganj

Rajarshi Mukherjee, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Shyampur Siddheswari Mahavidyalaya, Howrah.

Mangala Gouri Chakraborty, Associate Professor, Department of English, Loreto College, Kolkata

Sourav Ghosh, PhD scholar, Department of History, University of California, Berkeley.

Sunalini Kumar, Associate Professor, Ambedkar University Delhi


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