In the year 2002, 10 Dalit scholars were rusticated by the University of Hyderabad administration for questioning the corruption by the then chief warden of UoH, who is presently the Vice-Chancellor posted by BJP led government. The ghosts of 2002 returned again to UoH in 2015. Five Dalit Research Scholars (Ph.D. students) were subjected to social boycott by the decision of the University to restrict their entry into hostels, administration building and other common places in groups. They are banned from participating in Students' Union elections as well.
Forced to vacate hostel rooms
The 'on-campus' incident related to ASA vs ABVP on 03.08.2015 got political colour with the involvement of BJP Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, and also the letters sent to university by MHRD. What more is required to victimize 'anyone' according to the whims and fancies of ABVP cadre on the campus?
Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya's letter to MHRD Minister Smriti Irani
The scholars who were punished by UoH administration on false allegations by the ABVP cadre were active participants of Ambedkarite politics which questions the authority of brahmanical and rightwing orthodoxy. They were part of several on and off campus struggles demanding justice for marginalized sections. They were vociferous in students struggle, and have been instrumental in bringing several decisions that benefitted students in general and marginalized students in particular.
Series of Incidents
On 02.08.2015, Ambedkar Students Association (ASA), along with Ambedkar Reading Group, University of Delhi, Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, IIT, Madras, ASA (TISS), Mumbai and Concerned Students from IIT Bombay issued a joint statement condemning ABVP attack on screening of 'Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hain', a documentary which exposed the role of BJP in Muzaffarnagar riots. Subsequently, ASA- UoH organized a protest demonstration against the same on 03.08.2015. Following this ABVP-HCU Unit President and State committee member, termed the SC, ST. OBC, Minority and like-minded members of ASA as GOONS. When this act was invoked as atrocious, he tendered written apology in presence of the security officer of the UoH who gave a statement to the proctorial board that the ABVP student was not subjected to any form of violence whatsoever.
Protests against rustication of the Dalit scholars in September
Having felt ashamed of submitting an apology to a group of Dalit students, he started a high-drama to divert the entire issue, by manipulating ASA's stand against 'Capital Punishment' which is in consonance with Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar's views on capital punishment. For seeking an apology for an atrocious comment and for protesting against capital punishment, BJP union minister manipulated the facts and branded dalits as casteist, extremist and anti-national. Another BJP MLC who is an advocate at High Court of Andhra Pradesh, warned the Vice-Chancellor, that he will 'teach a lesson to Dalits on Campus'. On the contrary, it was these very so-called brahminical elements who talk about nation and patriotism now, who once acted as the henchmen to the British colonial rule.
On the current incident, both ABVP president and the 5 Dalit Research Scholars were given an official warning by the administration, one for terming ASA as goons, and others for seeking an apology. But, the events that unfurled later were shockingly atrocious and incomprehensible. Without any proper investigation, the Dalit Research Scholars were suspended by the decision of Chief Proctor, Prof. Alok Pandey, a Bhoomihar Brahmin and an RSS affiliate.
Stranded, in the open
Ambedkar Students Association, along with the support of other progressive organizations, staged a protest against the suspension demanding the revocation of suspension on a condition that the Vice-chancellor orders proper and unbiased enquiry afresh in to the incident. But, immediately after the appointment of Prof.P. Apparao as V.C under the direction of new BJP-led Union Government the decision to ostracize the Dalit Research Scholars from hostels, common places, administrative building, and students' union elections was taken without conducting any fresh enquiry into the incident.
Now, all five students don't have any hostel accommodation, their homes are 300-400 kms far away from University. A circular issued by UGC obligates universities to accommodate SC/ST students on first priority without charging any rent with a motto that these students are marginalized socially and economically, for their education to proceed smoothly their residence is a matter of priority. Perhaps an incident in the life of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, wherein even after obtaining the highest form of education, he was ostracized from residential buildings, must have influenced in the making of such a recommendation. But, the current BJP led government and its puppet Vice-Chancellors would only chant the name of Babasaheb Dr.B.R. Ambedkar to garner the Dalit vote-bank and support.
Sleeping in the open
The current case of suspension of the 5 dalit research scholars which resulted in the disruption of the careers of brilliant dalit students who possess UGC-JRF, CSIR, NET, with the undue interference of the BJP Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, BJP MLC Ramachandra Rao and MHRD, stands as quintessential for the anti-dalit and anti-minority nature of BJP.
~ Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UoH)
(Students' Union 2015-16, ASA- BSF-DSU- JKSA-MSF- NSUI - ORSSJ -PEHEL-SFI- SIO -TSF- TVV )