The agitation over Rohith Vemula’s death has now reached its 10th day

Ekalavyas tale and new-age prejudices Students keep up the struggle for Rohith VemulaJoint Action Committee for Social Justice -UoH
news Rohit Vemula Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 22:13

An arrow was aimed at the office of the acting Vice Chancellor of Hyderabad University on Wednesday, as students demanded his resignation.

The agitation over Rohith Vemula’s death has now reached its 10th day, and students have still kept up the momentum, refusing to back down and acquiesce to the university’s pleas.

On Wednesday, students took out a march to acting Vice Chancellor Vipin Srivastava’s official residence on campus. He was named VC after Appa Rao went on indefinite leave last week. Students who were earlier demanding Rao’s resignation, now made the same demand of Srivastava, whom they hold responsible for the death of Senthil Kumar, who killed himself in 2008.

During the march, students painted themselves black and formed an arrow aimed at the VC’s residence.

Picture courtesy : Joint Action Committee for Social Justice -UoH Facebook Page

Since Monday, when the Joint Action Committee announced the ChaloHCU protest inviting students from across the country to join them, the idea that Rohith and other Dalit scholars in institutions of higher education are like Ekalavya has been manifesting in various forms.

On Monday, students painted their fingers with different colours and bandaged their thumbs symbolisng Ekalavya’s right thumb which Dronacharya demanded as guru-dakshina in the Mahabharata. At the latest count, there are paintings and even an art installation on campus, depicting the hand without the thumb.

 

 

In sub-altern discourse, Ekalavya has been seen either as an adivasi or Dalit youth whose talent was sabotaged by Dronacharya who did not want anyone to be better than Arjuna.

Here are five developments at the university:

Group of students marched towards in-charge vice chancellor Vipin Srivastava's official house in UoH demanding his resignation on Wednesday morning.

Students from the campus across the country responded positively for the Bandh call given by National Joint Action Committee. Universities like OU, JNU, JNTU, Kakatiya University of Warangal, Calicut University in Kerala, also organized strikes within their respective campuses.

Vipin Srivastava, VC In-charge was forced to leave the place of protest by protesters demanding his resignation. The JAC has also announced that they will continue the protest till the interim VC step down from his post.

Prominent writer and Activist Meena Kandaswamy who came to Hyderabad Central University to participate in Chalo HCU protest on Monday, joined the students on a hunger strike at the campus.

ABVP announced the launch of a nation-wide campaign to spread “truths” in Rohit's suicide at a press conference on Wednesday. They also said that they would launch the campaign in all universities by conducting discussions and lectures. This would be a seven day campaign and which will last till February 3.

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