Harvard setting a dangerous precedent: Subramanian Swamy

FP Staff Dec 8, 2011

Subramanian Swamy has said that the decision by Harvard university to discontinue his classes is a “dangerous principle that stifles personal opinion”. Commenting on the decision on his personal twitter feed Swamy said, “I have been held accountable at Harvard for what I write in India.This means India studies’ Witzel and Eck are accountable in India. Healthy?” Witzel and Eck are professors at Harvard.

Image from ibnlive.com

At a meeting of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, faculty members voted with an “overwhelming majority” to remove two economics courses – ‘Quantitative Methods in Economics and Business’ and ‘Economic Development in India and East Asia’ – that Swamy teaches at the three-month Harvard Summer School session. In a statement after the decision was announced, the university said that the views expressed in Dr Swamy’s op-ed piece in the DNA newspaperamounted to incitement of violence instead of protected political speech,” he said.

Harvard had initially chosen to stand by Swamy in line with its declared commitment to free speech. However at Tuesday’s meeting, faculty members agreed to remove his two courses, effectively removing him from Harvard’s teaching roster. Faculty members said Swamy’s article was not a product of free speech—but of hate speech.

Swamy however remained defiant, saying that the dangerous thing Harvard has done is to make their Professors responsible for what they write anywhere in the world adding (on Twitter): “IIT/D sacked me in 1973. Four years later, I became a member of the IIT Board Governors–the very body which had sacked me!”


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