Monday, 14 May, 2007

support Dr. Shivaji Panikkar and Chandramohan

We fully support Dr. Shivaji Panikkar and Chandramohan. I will personally convene a meeting on the 14th of May in London at the Central Saint Martins College of art and design in strong opposition to right wing politics. We will also approach the local press and try to publish any further news we get on this matter.

Those of you who will be able to attend the meeting at the Faculty of Fine Arts please oblige to photograph the event and send them to us.

Please send us your opinions about this issue on the following ids so that we can display these messages in our meeting.
Thank you,

HImanshu Desai


farbod said...

i'm totally shocked about the news.....i've come to India to find a shelter from Islamic fanatism in my country, Iran. and it is so sad for me to see this kind of crazy behaviour in India, the so called country of democracy and tolerance. please don't ruine you pleasant culture as we did in iran. try to learn from your iranian sisters and brothers

Suresh said...

What a travesty of justice that a young artist should spend 5 days in jail for expressing himself, while the goons who rushed to tear down something so beautiful roam free. How spineles and morally bankrupt this VC Soni must be to jump into bed with these sick people.

We have a lot to learn from mature democracies like the US where one can speak the mind freely. Hopeful that the court will see reason.

Professional said...

This is outrageous and barbaric to say the least.
On behalf of the Faculty of Fine Arts Alumni in this neck of the woods, we lend our absolute support to Dr. Shivaji and this protest. We are with your till our voices are heard and action has been taken.
Avantika Bawa
Artists/ Professor, Atlanta, Georgia

rajan said...

It is absolutely necessary that international art community and academic world condemn the events in Baroda and write to the VC, the Governor of the State and whoever else one may think fit to support Prof.Shivaji Panikkar, Chandramohan and the entire facutly of fine arts who are fighting the administration.

Anjali said...

Most academics in the US that I have talked to, of Indian origin and otherwise, are appalled at this turn of events. What is the use of all the progress being touted regarding modern India if we allow such actions by political goons to go unchecked?
Please know that many here are fully behind this protest. Good luck.

Syracuse said...

There is nothing surprising about this incident and the authority's reaction. When vandals are ruling you can't expect much less. However, the intelligentsia seem to have been caught napping. In Kerala, vernacular dailies didn't carry the news even on 14th May. The Hindu caught it very late on 13th and no follow-up on 14th. No response from the left. Don't know if they responded at all, but anyway nothing commensurate with the gravity.

srinath said...

this act seems to be a coup and the student and the dean are being made the scapegoats in this ugly play of politics.

JohnyML said...

I have been publishing all the protest materials regarding the Baroda Fine Arts Faculty incident in my website

Please check the site.


renuramanath said...

We are organising a protest meeting at Kashi Art Cafe in Cochin on Monday. I will send the report and pictures to this site as well as post in my blog -

eyefry said...

It is high time those self-styled guardians of our collective morality, the BJP, are educated about the basics of the Indian Constitution. As citizens of this democracy it is our sworn duty to give these misanthropes a dressing down. It would be downright cowardly if we were to shy away now from a direct confrontation. Silence is not an adequate reply.

കേരളഫാർമർ/keralafarmer said...

My support

saumya said...

This is really depressing to see. To think that at every nook and corner we are ruled by these "outsiders". Suresh is right how "spineless and morally bankrupt" can this VC Soni get? It is like we are being ruled by some moral brigade.... How sad. I feel so angry to think that these people who think of themselves as a moral police feel they can just barge in and manhandle a student. People like Jain and the VC Soni who should be behind bars and someday I hope they are put there. It is because of such people that communal disharmony is created.

All my respect and support is with Dr. Shivji Panikkar who stood by Chanderamohan. Shivji is right we have suffered enough and really cannot have this bullying anymore. I am not in Baroda at the moment but I really wish I was. Although I was not able to attend any of the meetings I wish to express that all my solidarity is with Chanderamohan and Shivji.

I will pray that Jain goes to hell and Soni follows

Amarendra said...

What has happened is shocking. As an ex-student of the university, I'm ashamed of the conduct of the vice chancellor, Pro VC, and other university admin staff for their act of conniving with the goons of VHP and BJP. Only in a fascist state, a no one like Niraj Jain can lay his hands on someone like Prof Shivji and get away with it and what's more, earning accoloades and medals from his party bosses inside the unversity office headed by VC soni and outside of it headed by CM modi.Last nailings in the coffin of academia in gujarat has begun at the behest of moral police. In less than 5 years from now, Gujarat will be a bustling place, economically and otherwise. Welcome to Brave New Gujarat where Niraj Jain will head the Department of Philosophy and Indian Culture and Manoj Soni his personal attendant.
Sorry for being pessimistic. But I'm still trying to take in whatever has happened.
For the present, I as a citizen of India demands:
1. Immediate release of ChandraMohan from Police Custody.
2. Reinstating Shivji as Dean of Fine Arts.
3. A letter of apology from VC for conniving with the goons and destroying the sancity of the campus.
4. Formal complaint by University against Niraj Jain for illegally entering the campus and vandalising it, against the police officials who arrested ChandraMohan for violating the protocols of IPC, against VC for utter neglect of his duties.
5. Resignation of VC

Iqbal said...


Dear Professor Shivaji Pannikar & the Faculty of Fine Arts

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King.

Congratulations MSU Fine Arts Faculty.

I salute you for fiercely protesting this ‘barbaric’ invasion of your institution and this abridgement of freedom of artists by this illegal encroachment, by those undesirable elements in power.
The more educated and cultured would have resorted to a more effective protest that is intellectual, if necessary educational, firm as needed, but without offensive language or threats of aggression.

Giving money and power to those in positions of authority is tantamount to giving whisky and car keys to teenage boys.

Magnifying this issue beyond realistic proportions for self gain and political mileage only serves to reiterate what the Father of Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi once said, “he who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”

Galvanise and mobilize.
Boycott this political assault against artistic freedom and autonomy.
Never apologise for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologise for truth.

Do not waiver in your support of Dr. Shivaji Pannikar, a true academic, an epitome of integrity, professionalism, dedication, commitment and justice.
I feel honoured and proud to have been your student years ago.

Stand united and do not succumb to threat, do not allow these vandals to accomplish an extinction of natural feeling, narrowing of the spiritual field of vision and destruction of all the deeper elements of character in man, vital attributes that they lack.

Had we, the humans all over the world, been a little bit tolerant of other’s views, men like Socrates and Mahatma Gandhi would have died their natural death.

Be assured that your struggle, your sacrifices is not only gaining national, but international momentum and support, and the perpetrators, international disgrace and condemnation.

Iqbal Abdul Haq
(Head of Art & Design- Gulf English School- Kuwait)
ex-MSU Art History student.

Vishesh Agrawal said...
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Vishesh Agrawal said...

This borders on ridiculous. Just to be on the limelight, these goons go to any level.
And we the people just are mute spectators. We need to have our own critical mass so that we stop this anarchy.
Great initiative for protests and the blog.


I have linked it over at my blog

saxtti said...

We support Dr Shivaji Panikkar and Chandramohan.
It is the most exemplary act of bravery to stand by your convictions and support your students. Its a shame that the VC bent his knees.

Holden Caulfield said...

Citizen's Credo:

whenever a politician tries to divert attention to religion, he or she will be immediately told the following:

"abey, tereko malum hai hospitals ka halat? tereko malum hai schools ka halat? farmers suicide kar rahe hain, tereko malum hai? roads ka halat dekha hai? kitne logon ko naukri nahi milta hai, tereko malum hai? ja ke kam kar. agar phir se dekha tu time waste kar raha hai, doonga ek thappad kaske. chal fut, ab"

Sachin Ketkar said...

It is sad and shocking development. Yet I am struck by Prof. Pannikar's courage and congratuate him for this. Freedom has never come free, and all `free' people have to remember this. As a citizen of a free state, I express my outrage at the incident and demand reinstatement of Prof. Pannikar. As a poet, I have taken this very personally. The freedom of expression is the freedom to be human and the freedom to be different. It is a kick on my **** ( the word omitted being obsence for some)
As an artist, I believe that Art is not a domesticated dog at the doors (or corridors) of power or social institutions like religion. In some ways this is a welcome development too, it will remind some of our young artists rolling in the luxury of freedom earned by sacrifices of the others that freedom does not come free, it has its own price tag. And like credit cards, we all be charged later for this current sense of freedom, along with exhorbitant rate of interest and all.

hershal said...

moral police goes naked of morality to protest against something that punctures their orthodox, rotting ideologies...

need i spit more of my anger?

hershal said...

i offer full of my support for Chandra, panikkar & the fine arts faculty, msu in this matter...


Artist has every freedom to express himself/herself.No body can stop this,and another thing is artist is a disiplined social being,artist is well aware of different culture and beliefs,but artist is creating for all of their fan arround the globe.This incident is an eloquent example of how low has the humanity fallen. No one has the right to cast aspersions on a creative work of an indivudual, unless it really mars national integrity.

Savithri said...

I strongly support Dr. Shivaji Panikkar and Chandra Mohan and register my protest. Such a great institution like Faculty o Fine arts of MSU should be protected from political manipultors.
Savithri Rajeevan

Bharathi said...

I am apalled by the behavior of VHP/RSS/BJP. Being a scientist, I am worried that one of these days they might come behind me for using the DNA from a calf! We all must get together and stop these attrocities.

Tanmay said...

Full Support to the MSU Arts Faculty, nothing more to be said... (it's more than clear who's right and wrong here)

btw - although i disagree with the views of the Christian Community, their way of expressing their revolt of the art expressions peacefully and, thus, gracefully - are welcome...

seemav said...

I live near seattle, USA and was totally shocked to see through NDTV, an open attack on the freedom of expression by hindu fundamentalists for mere 10 minutes fame. I fully support MSU community. Keep up the good work.

Kalendra said...
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kaveri said...

Why isn't the so-called obscene painting being made visible to everyone? Anyway, how on Earth was something that wasn't for public display get "juried" by the Saffron army and police? Who invited them?

I was told, and I may be wrong, that Chandramohan had depicted Saraswati painted on a cross??? If that is so, then this whole incident has only proved his point! What else is this moral policing and goondaism in a university campus, and suppression of the freedom of expression, but a crucification of Saraswati?

Patel said...
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Patel said...
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Patel said...

Not only Dr.Panikkar but Chandra Mohan also must be suspended. and ousted from Vadodara(Baroda) and Gujarat.

They (So called Artist) are doing all these drama for cheap publicity that only stupids cares

Whoever are favourig Dr.Pannikar & Chandra,they should draw fine arts drawings of their (Naked)Mother,Sisters (OR God,Godees)and disply on their living rooms & bed rooms and teach their children the lesson of Art and Culture of country INDIA.

Furthermore, Gujarat also have verygood history of freedom arts and artist but not Cheaper one so there is not a single rational reason to Support Dr.Pannikar and Chandramohan at all.( I am aslo in this field of arts and former student of MSU that way I am very proud of Management of MSU)

so be bold and dont drag into the current (counter) flow

Ashok said...

Carl Sagan said - "Sex is the most beautiful thing that ever happened to mankind.If we did not love sex so much we would have not been the surviving species that we are today."
I believe that as in ancient India we must celebrate sex as wonderful, natural and pure and art must reflect sex in all its glory as it is the magic which creats new life and remove many hang ups that the society has today.

Amrita said...

You're definitely not alone:
Artist as victim
Curbs on freedom

Sour Kraut said...

I appeal to all the non-resident Indians not to support fundamentalist groups like the VHP.

Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi said...

this is to my dear patel who has posted his comment in this blog.

Dear Patel why everbody should draw paintings of mothers and sisters and keep on their walls why should not fathers and brothers you biased male shouvenist,you say that showing a godess as nude is wrong and you advice that show their own mothers and sisters nude,this is so sad that you donot realise that you are biased by youself and will not understand any newer things and i think there is no point in arguing with you because you dont deserve that also.