In the wake of the crackdown on HCU students protesting against the return of Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile and their subsequent arrests, we spoke to a cross-section of students to gauge their opinion.
Ramji, PhD scholar in Economics and Rohith's best friend:
Rohith had ignited a fire of revolution with his blood as the fuel. Revolution against forces of casteism, religious fanaticism and patriarchal dominance. The students and faculty of HCU have kept the fire alive by giving their blood as the fuel so far. The fire will be kept alive with the last drop of blood possible till justice for Rohith is met with.
Donda Prashanth PhD Scholar:
The way forward for this moment would be, we are taking along all student groups and all political parties particularly in Telangana to protest since the VC Appa Rao is moving in a ruthless manner. We will involve all the civil society organizations and we are going to have a massive Dharna in the coming week along with a series of activities and we will continue until Appa Rao is sacked.
Masters student Ravi (name changed on request):
I think that the protest should move on, in the direction in which it was happening during Rohith Vemulaâ€™s incident but we have to be more strategic because the bail is more like a candy offered to a child. And there are several other technical arrangements which have been made for example, the judge who is handling this is the wife of a guy who is connected with the BJP. It is very strange for me that the public prosecutor did not oppose the bail.
So now the protest should be that we have to mobilize people. We need to have academic protests, cultural protests and protests of art, at the same time we have to be very careful and strategic. The legal battle is still going on and we will also file cases against the police for atrocities. Many of the policeman are still roaming in the campus in civil dresses and even IB guys are roaming in the campus, so we have to be more careful now. I hope you know that the VC has invited students and faculty members to give ideas and suggestions, basically they are trying to get inputs from the students to stop the movement. And Vipin Srivastava has appointed a few of his people as official spokespersons till the media is not there inside the campus so we should start using social platforms and we have already started writing articles. This VC has to go at any cost. Protests will go on and for sure we will have a good strategy. But I think the protests and sloganeering will not help much as it was always there but it will still be there but lets see what happens.
Amrith BLS, Mass Communication student:
The way forward for the protest is to undermine the legitimacy of the VC. The students should not recognize his authority and should ensure that he doesn't attend any seminars or sessions. We should make him take moral responsibility for his actions.
Masters student Rakesh (name changed on request):
I want VC out of campus which will lead to peace automatically. Before he came, everything was normal. He came and spoil it for us and we watched the â€˜tamashaâ€™. I wonder if he would do the same if his kids studied along with us. Lathicharge on students, not giving them food and water. Are you trying to kill us or what?