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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightCritical of RSS:...

Critical of RSS: Centre denies writer/activist entry into India

Critical of RSS: Centre denies writer/activist entry into India

Bengaluru: Nitasha Kaul, Indian origin writer and Kashmir Pandit by birth, was refused entry into India at Bengaluru airport by the Union government authorities allegedly over her anti-RSS statements in the past, The News Minute reported.

A UK citizen and a professor at the University of Westminister, Nitasha took it to X on Sunday relating her ordeal at the Bengaluru airport, from where she was deported to London on February 26. She, who is known for stringent critique of the BJP's parent organization, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, came to Bengaluru to deliver a lecture at a conference on the topic 'The Constitution and the Unity of India', accepting the invitation of the Karnataka government. The conference was held on February 24 and 25.

In a series of posts, she called RSS a "far-right Hindu nationalist paramilitary".

Nitasha, who says to have a valid UK passport and an OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) card, was detained by the immigration authorities at the Bengaluru airport after she landed. She alleged that the officials told her unofficially that she was refused entry to India because of being critical of RSS.

In the 2019 revocation of Article 370 in Kashmir and the human rights violations that followed there, Nitasha served as a key witness at the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs. When The Kashmir Files was released, she wrote on TNM that the movie destroyed Kashmir's history and politics into an Islamophobic morality tale which only profits Hindutva in India. She said that the movie must offend all Indians, including Hindus, Muslims, Kashmiri Muslims, men, women and others. The movie makes an effort to corrode the solidarity between Hindus and Muslims in Kashmir as well as the solidarity between Kashmiris and Indians, she opined.

On Sunday she wrote on X, "The officials informally made references to my criticism of RSS, a far-right Hindu nationalist paramilitary from years ago. I have travelled to India numerous times since. I was invited by a state govt, but refused entry by the central govt."

She furthered that the officials harassed her by denying her basic necessities despite making multiple requests to make food, water, a pillow and a blanket easily accessible to her. Proving her claim, she posted a photo of her sleeping using paper as a pillow.

She said, "I am a globally respected academic & public intellectual, passionate about liberal democratic values. I care for gender equity, challenging misogyny, sustainability, civil & political liberties, and the rule of law. I am not anti-Indian, I am anti-authoritarian & pro-democracy."

She voiced her discontent over the Indian government's action at the airport, saying, "Unless this is fixed, I join the ranks of the Tibetan exiles and Ukrainian exiles, and others throughout history who have faced the arbitrary exercise of brute unreasoning power."

She wondered, "How can the world's largest democracy be threatened by my pen & the word? How is it ok for the centre to not allow a professor to be at a conference on the Constitution where she was invited by the state govt? To give no reason? Not the India we cherish, is it?"

"Rightwing #HindutvaTrolls have for years threatened me w death, rape, ban etc. In the past, authorities have sent police to my elderly ailing mother's home to intimidate, even though I live in UK & my work has no connexion to her, a pious temple-going dezhor-wearing retired Hindi teacher & my sole surviving parent," she wrote.

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