R Ravi Kumar
Dear friends, Hope by now you came to know of the unfortunate incident that took place in the University of Hyderabad.
We shall not see this incident in isolation. Let me explain you in brief what triggered the series of events in HCU. The Ambedkar Students Association started their agitation against the capital punishment still in existence in IPC. As followers of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's ideology and as sensitive human rights defenders, they started the protest well with in the Constitutional framework about 6 months back. The right wing ABVP members who are against the agitation to scrap capital punishment were very angry with the ASA and started mudslinging on ASA.
Having gathered their strength on the campus with the appointment of Dr. P. Apparao as VC and their BJP /RSS members outside the campus resorted to direct attack on the leadership of ASA. ASA members also protested the proposal of the university soon after Apparao became the VC. That is to ban students from wearing vetti or lungi at the recently held convocation. Finally, the VC had to go back on his proposal of leaving the choice to the students to wear vetti or lungi.
Much aggravated by these two incidents, ABVP leaders wrote inflicting and character assassinating comments on his facebook about ASA leaders.
Having seen this, ASA members dragged the ABVP leaders to the security officer and got them deleted. Further. the ABVP person apologized for the same.
ASA thought it was all over. But the ABVP members lodged a complaint both with the local police and university authorities that one of their members was physically attacked by ASA.
The university constituted a proctoral committee to look into the matter and the committee came out with a report saying it is all false.
Meanwhile, the ABVP gathering their strength outside the campus and made Bandaru Dattatreya and MLC to write letters to the Minister for Human Resources who inturn wrote to the VC.
The VC then extended the proctoral committee and got a report just against what the earlier committee said and suspended 5 very promising scholars of ASA.
Also the ABVP filed a private complaint against the university seeking a report on the action taken on ASA members.
The university with the help of police and security forces on the campus disturbed the ASA agitation.
At this juncture Rohit gave up his life....
Why we are saying that we shall not see this as a mere HCU campus issue is because of recent attacks on Dalit students of EFLU, attacks on Dalit students of Madras law college students demanding the naming of the auditorium after Dr B R Ambedkar; all have similarities. In all these agitations, our youth were agitating well within the constitutional framework. All their demands concerned the entire Indian community. They are at the very minimum human rights issues. Concern for justice and identity in a democracy to uphold the dignity of each of its communities is a fundamental right.
But in all these disconnected issues the modus operandi of the aggressive authorities is similar as if they had prior communications.
They have implicated our youth in police cases, so that their careers are doomed.
They have been rusticated our youth so that they will be disqualified to get any academic/professional jobs.
One very important and common feature to all these youth is that they are the best students of their institutions.
Especially in HCU, this kind of incident is not happening for first time. Exactly 15 years ago when the same Apparao was the chief warden, 11 fantastic scholars were rusticated for three years. Out of them, only 3 or 4 students could revive their studies. Though they have done their PhDs still facing the wrath of the restriction wherever they go for job.
Hence our appeal is to not consider this as a mere one campus issue at HCU. These are well planned clandestine coups against future dalit academic self-determination.
Let's join in attacking the caste Hindu monster before we lose any more of our future generation's leaders and intellectuals.
~ R Ravi Kumar,
Secretary, National Dalit Forum