"The UGC and MHRD must respond"

Why is a suicide necessary to wake us up to caste discrimination in our institutions
Blog HCU Monday, January 18, 2016 - 19:43

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat 

Hyderabad University can’t escape from the blame of killing the young Dalit scholar. We want to ask this question why should students at this level be 'expelled'. The problem with these so-called institutions is that they want to 'discipline' students like primary class students. At the higher level you have to allow them to think and take part in political activities. India's Universities once upon a time were the place which created student leaders who were much broader in thought and actively involved in social action. Today, in the name of having a 'central university' we see that students are supposed to attend classes like primary students. With no independent thinking being allowed, what do we want ? How many PhDs are really coming which can be called path breaking. We dont want our students to comment on critical issues. Even after the death of Rohit Vemula, we are hearing that he 'supported' Yaqub Memon. I am quite amazed with this argument. So what? All those who talks of justice supported him. There are people who who fought his case. All we were saying that he should get enough chance to defend himself. It is ridiculous to suggest that we cant speak differently on an issue we feel close to our heart.

The UGC and MHRD must respond. They cant kill our students in the name of 'excellence'. First clean the crap and the dirty caste minds inside our institutions otherwise we are heading for a chaotic year. Students are still fighting for their right for non-net fellowship issue and ‪#‎occupyUGCcampaigning is still stronger, such incidents shows how caste capitalists minds are working together to implement their vicious agenda on the institutions.

India's academic institutions are under brahmanical threat. This government has unleashed a brahmanical war on India's indigenous people. If it really want to show us that it care for all its citizens particularly those who come from non aryan segments, it must stand up, order an independent inquiry into the Hyderabad University incident and readmit the students to the hostel. You have no right to destroy the career of the students at this stage. It is time strict instructions be send to university administration everywhere and any unilateral action must be condemned.

This is not the first incident of its kind. We have seen academic institutions trying to mould students in a particular kind of thoughts and Dalit Aadivasi Muslim students are considered to be dissenters as they will resist any attempt to put them brahmanical mainstream as an attachment. Its a war of ideologies where RSS and Hindutva ideologies are getting state protection inside our institutions. Mythologies are being claimed as history.

It is not unusual that while the government want to worship Ambedkar in 125th year by making politically correct statements using Ambedkar's differences against other contemporary leaders but shamefully the same government has snatched scholarship from students and disturbingly the Ambedkar Foundation which is in charge of propagating Ambedkar's books in Hindi, English and various Indian languages did not have enough books at its stall at the World Book Fair. Till a few years back, Dr Ambedkar's original work was found in the cheapest price by the government. We always reccomend people to read the original volumes so that they are not misinterpreted by every one.

It is time for all of to seriously think of whether and where we have failed. Those who want to glorify this helplessness need to understand the human psychology. While we may shout slogan, fight and may be the university might take the students back under pressure but the Dronacharyas with their caste minds will remain there. They will try to do do everything but there are definitely good teachers too. We need to broadened our agenda and associate with those who could be our associates and who cant be. In educational institutions and elsewhere there are prejudices but there are a few of them who stand in solidarity with students and guide them. It is time we have this capacity. Secondly, for students it is there career which is important. Rohti committed suicide perhaps thinking a solution was not in sight. Those of us and there are so many in power positions, in academics, in bureaucracy, in media and in responsible power positions, who can talk and negotiate with the university authorities. If the students have done anything wrong they can be guided. Colleges and Universities or any government institution can not be allowed to believe in retribution. Students are there to study and we need to promote that idea. University campuses must give student time to think of not just their future but also their interaction with politics and society must be encouraged. We should not allow situation to come to this level when a student commit suicide. It is time to seriously think whether those who claiming to work for people failed. It is not important to raise an issue but also whether we can help with our influence, connections. Students are sitting on Dharana and many could speak to the VC and find out as what is the problems. Many others could have gone to the court or meet the Ministers. Why does it need a suicide to wake us up ?

It is sad moment. I hope this will wake us up as this is neither the first incident nor will be the last as situation inside our campuses are bad. It need much more than sloganeering. We need to fight against brahmanisation of eduction but at the same point of time should ask our student to fight and change. Please do not take your life. This helplessness pains us, agonise us. We hope those in Hyderabad or working with students, in their campuses must form groups and I am sure there are many teachers and other like minded people who could form as a guiding force, who can talk to the administration.

An insensitive institution can not create sensitive students. We hope the government will wake up. The suicide of Rohit Vemula is a warning to India's brahmanical establishment to mend its ways. We hope the government in 125th year of Dr Ambedkar's birth centenary will act in good faith otherwise things might go out of control.

We stand in solidarity with all those who call for an overhaul of our educational system. Stand up against the casteist Dronacharyas sitting in our academic world.

(Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com twitter @freetohumanity Email: vbrawat@gmail.com)

The article was first published on countercurrents.org with the headline Need To Cleanse The Education From The Dronacharayas.

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.