Statement on Romila Thapar

The Aligarh Historians Society and SAHMAT unreservedly condemn the well-orchestrated campaign against Professor Romila Thapar over the issue of her appointment as Kluge Professor at the Library of Congress, USA. The campaign is clearly instigated by the country’s saffron forces, and is designed to dissuade foreign academic bodies from according honours to such Indian scholars as the Hindutava forces regard as ‘ Liberal’ or ‘ Leftist’. The more eminent the scholar, as Romila Thapar undoubtedly is, the more fierce and bitter the attack.

Professor Romila Thapar has received the highest possible honours within this country, and these


honours have come her way because of her dedication to academic rigour, scientific approach and a steadfast espousal of democratic and secular values. Any recognition of her work abroad brings honour to this country, and those who decry her contributions to scholarship in effect belittle our country’s status in the academic world.

We are sure that such tactics of the saffron brigade would not succeed; and Indian historians, and scholars  as hitherto, will continue to defend the cause of independence and rationality in the pursuit of their profession.