Cambridge academic accuses University of censorship

Priyamvada Gopal teaches in the Faculty of English
Image credit: Michael Behrend

Priyamvada Gopal, a Reader on Anglophone and Post-Colonial Literature at the University, has accused the alumni magazine, CAM, of censorship.

She was asked to make a contribution in which she was to outline “my wish for the next 50 years of independence”.

Answering that she wanted to see the “democratic aspirations of the people of Kashmir” honoured, she added that she wished that India would not deploy “economic systems, political institutions, and repressive tactics inherited from the British empire”.

When asked to approve an edited version, she noticed that these two parts of her contribution had been removed. Her whole contribution was then removed from the piece when she expressed her concern.

She commented on the matter in a blog post published early last week, suggesting that the University did not want to upset Indian donors by publishing the word “Kashmir”.

Speaking to The Hindu on Friday 17 February she said this incident represented part of “a very large silencing on the issue of Kashmir”.

However, a spokesperson commented to The Hindu that the University “rejects the claim that it engages in censorship”.

This comes in the wake of the University’s recent ranking as “Amber” in the Free Speech University Rankings by spiked. This is used to describe a students’ union or university administration that “chills free speech and free expression by issuing guidance with regard to appropriate speech and conduct.”

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