Even as students at the University of Hyderabad continued 're-building' their 'velivada' by stitching a tent out of their clothes,the SC/ST Teachers' Forum has written an open letter to VC Appa Rao and pasted copies of the letter across the varsity.
The Forum wrote the letter in response to a circular issued by Appa Rao, where he said that permission should be taken before a poster or banner is put up anywhere on campus.
Here is the full text of the letter:
Dear Prof. Appa Rao,
We have received the circular dated 31/5/2016 from the Registrar citing your orders of the same day (Ref. no. UH/SEC/2016) with shock as well as amusement. Amusement, because when you were the President of UHTA during the Vice-Chancellorship of Prof. Hasnain, UHTA pasted many posters all over the campus with your blessings. Now, suddenly, you do a volte face with total hypocrisy that no posters should be pasted without permission! Donâ€™t you think that this is utterly absurd?! Of course, it is apparent that you do not have the courage to handle the posters that speak truth to power and challenge many of the fictitious narratives you put out. It just confirms to us your opportunism and intolerance to dissent as well as your contempt for basic tenets of democracy.
When you were the person who challenges the statements of the then VC, you had to enjoy the freedom of expression enshrined in our Constitution but the same needs to be denied to your detractors. I wonder what your reaction would have been had Prof. Hasnain also resorted to such a tactic? Send all your posters to him for his kind permission and approval? It is a shame that you are stooping to such tactics to muzzle the voice of the university. Taking permission from the authorities is tantamount to censorship. We have seen evidence of this when Prof. Hasnain suddenly banned the faculty mailing list from being open to all. All UHTA mails were refused to be forwarded by CNF to the faculty. Do you think that people are blind to the repercussions of such circulars? If University is not the place where competing ideas are placed in public and debated, where else do you think they will be done? These tactics remind one of the violent infamous days of Emergency in 1975.
As you know, this is being issued and pasted across the University without your permission. We defy anyone to muzzle our voice.
SC/ST Teachers' Forum and Concerned Teachers
2nd June 2016