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AAA Calls On India To Remove “no exit/entry” List In Kashmir
Restrictions On Academic Freedom Cited
The American Anthropological Association is calling on the US State Department to urge the Indian government to reconsider the impacts of its recent actions in Jammu and Kashmir, which have resulted in a series of unnecessary restrictions on academic freedom in the region.
The Indian government has generated an exit list and a potential no-entry list that make it difficult for researchers to travel to and from India and Kashmir for work and personal visits. In addition to politicians and activists, scholars whose work focuses on Kashmir and/or are Kashmiris, are finding their freedom of expression severely curtailed and obstructed.
The move comes in the wake of the recent abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution, which had granted the State of Jammu and Kashmir a 'special status' and allowed an elected assembly in the state to determine land use and residency rights in the region. As an association that includes anthropologists who work in Kashmir and India, we are deeply disturbed by the Hindu majority government’s move to occupy a majority Muslim state and the resulting human rights violations being targeting some of the region’s residents.
India’s self-image as the world’s largest democracy does not square with preemptively arresting up to 2,000 Kashmiris, including academic scholars; suspending mobile-telephone networks and the internet for weeks; and arresting doctors for bringing attention to medicine shortages in the valley.
On behalf of our nearly 10,000 members, the AAA calls on the Indian government to remove this communications clampdown and restore the free exchange of scholarship and ideas vital to a functioning democracy.