After the news of Sabyasachi Das's resignation broke, academics around the world have been condemning Das's colleagues and the state of Indian academia for the alleged silence.
The Wire reported that Das, an assistant professor at Ashoka University and the author of a controversial paper that hinted at voter manipulation in the 2019 elections in India, has resigned from his post at the university.
Earlier criticism was drawn by Ashoka University for distancing themselves from Sabyasachi’s paper. The speculation and debate around it dismayed the University, according to the statement. The statement further mentioned that the paper in question has not yet completed a critical review process and has not been published in an academic journal to the best of their knowledge.
It also clarified that social media activity or public activism by Ashoka faculty, students, or staff in their individual capacity does not reflect the stand of the University.
Sabyasachi's paper highlights the BJP's significant seat gains in closely contested constituencies during the 2019 general election, mainly in BJP-governed states. This trend of 'disproportionate' wins was unique to this election. The paper suggests two possibilities: electoral fraud by the BJP or their effective prediction of closely contested seat outcomes, leading to intensive campaigning through precise control of party workers.
A PhD scholar in the United Kingdom said on X: “Sabyasachi Das being forced out of Ashoka University, with none of his colleagues in the economics department or any other department for that matter, not threatening mass resignations; goes to show that the spines of academics have a price tag, no matter the pretensions.”
Another post on the social media said: “So what more proof do we need about EVM manipulation. If #SabysachiDas was wrong the BJP would've filed a case. Instead they threatened the Ashoka University which in its cowardice forced the brave professor to resign. It's so easy to be a Yes Man & so difficult to be a hero.”
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