‘Was this censorship?’: Tata Lit Live fest cancels discussion featuring Noam Chomsky, Vijay Prashad

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Academic-activists Noam Chomsky and Vijay Prashad issued a statement on Friday night expressing regret at the sudden cancellation of a discussion they were scheduled to have at the online Tata Literature Live festival about Chomsky’s new book, Internationalism or Extinction.The event was scheduled to be held at 9 pm on Friday. But at 1 pm, Chomsky and Prashad said that they “received an email which said, cryptically, ‘I am sorry to inform you that due to unforeseen circumstances, we have to cancel your talk today’.”They added: “Further inquires informed us to be in touch with the festival’s director, Anil Dharker. No communication has been established thus far with Mr. Dharker…Since we do not know why Tata and Mr Dharker decided to cancel our session, we can only speculate and ask simply: was this a question of censorship?”Boycott appealThe cancellation of the event followed an announcement by Chomsky and Prashad on Thursday that they would begin the event by reading out a statement that “makes it very clear how we feel about corporations such as the Tatas, and the Tatas in particular”. On Friday night, Scroll.in sent a message to the organisers of the event seeking …

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