Indian-Origin Writer Deported Over 'Anti-India' Views; 'All Lies,' She Says

New Delhi:

Nitasha Kaul – the Indian-origin British academic deported by the government over the weekend after landing at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport – has hit back at claims she was refused entry because she is “married to a Pakistani… a pawn of China… a puppet (of the) West…”

Ms Kaul – who government sources claim was deported because of her “anti-India, pro-separatist sentiments – said was not humiliated, and declared, “I am authoritarians fear… a thinking woman”.

“Re: all the lies, I am not married to a Pakistani, not a Muslim convert, not a pawn of China, not a puppet of (the) West, not a commie (Communist), not a jihadi, not a Pak sympathiser, not a terrorist supporter, not anti-India, and not part of a gang,” she posted on X (formerly Twitter).

“My experience was harrowing… but the humiliation is not mine. It is that of a ridiculous, insecure regime. What I have termed ‘moral wound of colonialism’ in my work is very much on display.”

“Selective resurrections of past macro histories are used to manipulate present sentiment,” she said.

“I urge you to think beyond walls of hate against those different from you… and to read and understand what I say and think, before rushing to condemn. It is hard but it is possible.”

Nitasha Kaul, a Professor of Politics, International Relations, and Critical Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Westminster in London, also describes herself as a “Kashmiri novelist”.

According to her website, her focus areas include “right-wing politics, postcolonial neoliberal nationalism, the Hindutva project in India, and the history and politics of Kashmir”.

On Sunday evening Ms Kaul posted a detailed message on X, saying she had been “denied entry to India for speaking on democratic and constitutional values”.

“I was invited to a conference… by Government of Karnataka (a Congress-ruled state) but the centre refused me entry. All my documents (UK passport and Overseas Citizen of India card) were valid…”

“I was given no reason by immigration except, ‘We cannot do anything, orders from Delhi’.”

In a lengthy thread, she said spent nearly 48 hours, including 24 in a holding cell at Bengaluru airport, with “no easy access to food and water” and without a pillow or a blanket

“Officials informally made references to my criticism of RSS, a far-right Hindu nationalist paramilitary (the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is widely seen as the ruling BJP’s ideological mentor) years ago…”

She also said “rightwing Hindutva trolls have for years threatened me with death, rape, ban, etc…” and that those threats had extended to her mother, who lives in the United Kingdom.

Ms Kaul’s ejection is also snowballing into a political controversy after the BJP – the main opposition party in Karnataka – accused the Congress of inviting “a Pak sympathiser who wants India’s break-up”.

Karnataka Minister HC Mahadevappa, whose office invited Ms Kaul to Karnataka, said he had been left “deeply concerned” by the incident and urged the centre to respect the right to “freedom of speech”.

“As we all know, BJP is a party always against the spirit of the Constitution (and) because of their ignorance about our constitutional values, such things are taking place repeatedly. We highly condemn such act of dictatorship towards the values of the Indian Constitution,” he said on X.

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