Although the ASA hasn’t invited Dalit leader and MLA from Gujarat Jignesh Mewani, it is likely that he too will participate in the event.

Rohith Vemula 2nd death anniversary Prakash Ambedkar among activists invited to speakFacebook/ Iniyavan Bhanumathi
news Rohith Vemula Monday, January 15, 2018 - 14:13

 

Several Dalit leaders and activists, including Prakash Ambedkar, will arrive at the University of Hyderabad to address students on Rohith Vemula’s ‘Shahadath Din’ (Martyrdom Day), which falls on January 17.

This is the second death anniversary of Rohith, a PhD student who killed himself in the campus allegedly due to social discrimination.

The dignitaries include Radhika Vemula, Prakash Ambedkar, Prof Kancha Ilaiah, Prof K Laxminarayana, Prof Sujatha Surepally, former AP chief secretary Kaki Madhava Rao, Grace Banu and academician Suraj Yengde.

Dalit leader and MLA from Gujarat Jignesh Mewani is also likely to participate in the event, though the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) did not invite him owing to his association with Left leaders. 

Speaking to TNM, ASA leader Dontha Prashanth said that the event seeks to address caste atrocities happening across the country and ways to resist them.

“It has been two years and no justice has been delivered in the Rohith Vemula incident. And there are continuous attacks happening across the country on Dalits. In this context of heightened attacks against the oppressed, it is necessary to raise our voice,” he said.

He said that they would formulate a plan of action against the caste atrocities.

“Caste discrimination still prevails in educational institutions – the recent incident of Dr Mariraj in Ahmedabad, who attempted suicide because of caste discrimination, is testimony to this. We will use the stage and share ideas on how to resist these atrocities,” Prashanth said.

Unlike the previous year, when the University denied permission to hold any meeting or gathering in the campus, this time around the administration has granted consent.

Meanwhile, in a bid to mobilise the students ahead of ‘Shahadath Din’, the ASA has lined up several events such as a rally, songs of resistance, and documentary screenings for Monday and Tuesday.

ASA has also designed riveting posters with quotes from Rohith Vemula to mass-organise students.

 

Rohith Vemula committed suicide on January 17, 2016 after the administration expelled him from hostel along with four of his friends from the ASA for allegedly assaulting an ABVP student. The suicide created a nation-wide uproar against the BJP government.

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