We, the alumni of the University of Hyderabad, are writing to the fellow teachers, researchers and students of Delhi to request all to participate in the Chalo Dilli March, “Delhi for Rohith Vemula”, organised for the ideals of social justice and constitutional rights on 23 February 2016 from Ambedkar Bhawan to Jantar Mantar.
We are making this appeal on two counts: one, as people who have personally known caste oppression, exploitation and alienation in the University of Hyderabad over more than one and half decades. Suicides, people discontinuing or languishing in humiliation were a felt reality. There have been others before Rohith Vemula. But let us work to make sure that he would be the last of the students who is pushed to suicide due to criminal social deprivation and targetting. We cannot afford to fail as a people again.
Secondly, the public education system and the space of the university in our country are going through horrible onslaughts. Public institutions as the key means of social mobility for the deprived and for providing social justice, academic freedom to investigate and elaborate without fear of thugs for rethinking socio-political structures and constitutional rights that are not stolen by media hyper sensationalism are values to stand up and fight for now. Rohith’s life showed what a space of possibilities universities can be and his death showed how some authorities and politicians can crush it under their feet. So we think it is important that the community of students, researchers and teachers take up this cause and join the march on 23rd February.
There is a great deal of awareness of the particular kind of danger that the universities are in now, as demonstrated by the huge turn out in the JNU solidarity rally three days ago. Given the social content of the problem- the casteism that continues to haunt and ruin intellectual work in India-,we believe that it is the ethical responsibility of every academician to be with Rohith.
It is our request that those who can make it somehow, may please attend the rally and others may please support it through interventions in the social media and elsewhere. Kindly urge your friends also to go.
Thank you for your kind attention and proactive steps!
1. Ms. Anwesha Chakraborty,Ph.D. Scholar, University of Bologna, Italy.
2. Ms. Rose Merin, Ph. D. Scholar, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
3. Dr. Ajith K.M., Assistant Professor in Physics, National Institute of Technology, Surathkal.
4. Dr. Rohith P., Assistant Professor in English, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, New Delhi.
5. Dr. U. K. Anandavardhanan, Associate Professor in Mathematics, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
6. Mr. Manu S. Kurup, Research Scholar, Department of English, University of Hyderabad
7. Dr. Sudheendran K., Assistant Professor in Physics, Kerala Varma College, Thrissur, Kerala.
8. Dr. Dinesh Babu, Assistant Professor, Centre for English and Modern Languages, Punjab Central University, Bathinda.
9. Mr. Themeem Thazhanjeri, Assistant Professor in English, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi.
10. Mr. Sreejith Remanan, Assistant Professor, School of Drama, University of Calicut.
11. Mr. Leon K.L., Painter.
12. Dr. Sowmya Dechamma, Associate Professor, Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Hyderabad.
13. Dr. Yasser Arafath, Assistant Professor in History, University of Delhi.
14. Ms. Jomy Abraham, Research Scholar in English, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
15. Dr. Sharmila Sreekumar, Assistant Professor of English, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.
16. Ms. Meenu Jose, Assistant Professor in English, Mar Ivanios College, Trivandrum.
17. Dr. Bindu K.C., Assistant Professor, Ambedkar University, Delhi.
18. Mr. Sanal Aman, Actor.
19. Ms.Kshipra Nigam, Researcher, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.
20. Mr. Viju Kurian, Assistant Professor, Baselius College, Kottayam, Kerala.
21. Dr. N. P. Ashley, Assistant Professor in English, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi.