September 30th, 2011
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US protest’s David Barsamian ban in India

David-BarsamianNew York: Prominent authors, journalists, academicians, lawyers and filmmakers strongly protested the ban of David Barsmian in India. The noted US based broadcaster and writer was denied entry into  the country. He has been a frequent visitor to the country since the 1970s and has written extensively about various facets of India and its people.

Barsamian was deported from Delhi’s international airport on September 23 by the immigration authorities, who told him that he was “banned” from entering the country but refused to divulge the reasons. “The deportation of David Barsamian unfortunately mirrors the manner in which Professor Richard Shapiro was arbitrarily stopped from entering India in November 2010. We are dismayed that this power to send people back from the airport is slowly becoming a weapon, used to discipline and silence people who draw any kind of attention to uncomfortable truths about India,” eminent intellectuals said in their protest letter.

Demanding that the ban on Mr. Barsamian and others like Professor Shapiro be revoked, they asked the government not to impede their return to India. They expressed their concern at the “growing arbitrariness” of the government in dealing with dissent of any kind. Pointing out that Mr. Barsamian was a veteran broadcaster and a friend of India, they said that he had immersed himself in Indian music, languages and poetry and taught himself Urdu and Hindi and also learned to play the sitar.

There are speculation that he had come to India to present a paper on Kashmir issue.



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