[INDOLOGY] Indian Council of Philosophical Research orders postponement of conference on religious pluralism because 'there are some papers on tribal religious practices, some papers are by foreign scholars.'

Deepak Sarma dxs163 at case.edu
Tue Apr 10 20:14:48 UTC 2018

It is indeed disturbing. The ICPR had at least 6 weeks to evaluate the conference (it was submitted to the ICPR, in part, I believe, to get funding). I found out the day before my flight. I understand from my colleagues at JNU that such cancelations and meddling is not very unusual. One JNU faculty member was not surprised and mentioned that "we are facing this kind of ridiculous censorship and suppression daily at the University.” The irony here, though, is palpable --xenophobia, nativism, and religio-poliical ideology preventing a conversion about Religion and Pluralism. I wonder how such an cancellation fits in with the prevailing political ideology of Hindutva and Hindu “tolerance” that they so merrily profess. 

Dr. Deepak Sarma

Professor of Religious Studies

Professor of Bioethics (secondary appointment)
School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University 

Curatorial Consultant, Department of Asian Art
Cleveland Museum of Art

Mailing Address:
Department of Religious Studies
Tomlinson Hall
2121 MLK Jr. Drive
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH 44106-7112

office: 216-368-4790
deepak.sarma at case.edu


> On Apr 10, 2018, at 11:42 AM, Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> In yet another disturbing development, an academic conference at JNU has been cancelled by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research on the grounds that it included papers on tribal religion and papers to be delivered by foreigners.  This is shameful.  The ICPR head, Prof. S. R. Bhatt, defended the decision with a series of transparently feeble arguments. 
> I was shocked to learn that JNU even had to submit conference planning to the ICPR for vetting and approval in the first place.  It is a fundamental tenet that a university should be intellectually independent. 
> Dominik Wujastyk
> ​--
> Professor Dominik Wujastyk​,​
> Singhmar Chair in Classical Indian Society and Polity​,​
> Department of History and Classics​,​
> University of Alberta, Canada​.​
> South Asia at the U of A: ​sas.ualberta.ca​​​
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