Tag Archives: Appa Rao Podile

Radhika Vemula on Bhim Auto

radhika vemula के लिए चित्र परिणाम

(Photo Courtesy : indiatoday.intoday.in, Photo Illustration by Saurabh Singh)

..The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote.  To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of star dust.  In every field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living.

..My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past.

(Excerpts from Rohith Vemula’s suicide note)

 

The middle of this month would witness a different type of Yatra on the streets of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Neither it would be led by high profile leaders – who have the aura of Z plus security with them – nor it would be undertaken in an ultramodern bus – fitted with latest facilities and which could even be used as podium for a public meeting.

It would be taken out on a blue pickup truck renamed Bhim Auto and would be led by a fifty year old woman Radhika Vemula  along with her son Raja demanding justice for her elder son Rohith. During this Yatra Radhika intends to visit one Velivada ( Dalit hamlet) after other in these two states to tell people how castiest forces are hell bent upon denying dalits their due rights and how justice is still being denied to her son who committed suicide because of the machinations of such people. (http://nsi-delhi.blogspot.in/search/?q=rohith+vemula). She would also communicate to them that not only the ruling dispensation at the centre led by BJP but the state governments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been callous towards the plight of the Dalits and have joined hands to deny justice to her son. Not some time ago the government of Andhra Pradesh had made outrageous statements about Rohith not being dalit and earlier in February had demanded that Radhika ‘prove’ that she is Dalit in 15 days. Continue reading Radhika Vemula on Bhim Auto

Statement by SC/ST Faculty Forum and Concerned Teachers of the University of Hyderabad on the Attack on Velivada

In the early hours 28th May 2016, at around 2 P.M., the authorities at the University of Hyderabad removed the tents erected in North Shopcom around the Velivada and the venue of protest following the death of Rohith Vemula. This happened in the darkness of night, shrouded in secrecy and utterly insensitive towards the turmoil it was bound generate within the student community. Such an act reaffirms the dictatorial stance of the present administration as well as its intolerance to dissent.

The removal of the tent is a clear act of provocation against students since it is well known that they are emotionally attached to the Velivada and consider it as a place of mourning and memorial for Rohith. Especially for the Dalit students, it remains the site of challenge against caste discrimination. Further, bringing down the posters of Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar’s quotes that surrounded the tent is a grave insult to the Father of the Constitution of this country and an atrocity in itself. It is indeed ironic that the university administration that overtly pronounces its intent to celebrate Dr. Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary for a year has no qualms about removing his posters, or barring his grandson, Prakash Ambedkar, from entering the university. Such actions unmask the true character of the administration; revealing its deeply discriminatory, apathetic and disrespectful attitude towards Dalits and their leaders. Continue reading Statement by SC/ST Faculty Forum and Concerned Teachers of the University of Hyderabad on the Attack on Velivada

Statement of solidarity for HCU from students and faculty of University of Texas at Austin

Let us not be little Arnolds in these times : Sudha K F

This is a guest post by SUDHA K F

“His right to march where he likes, meet where he likes, enter where he likes, hoot where he likes, threaten who he likes, smash as he likes. All this I think tends to anarchy. (Mathew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy, 1866)

….It certainly does. Nothing is stranger, in Arnold’s often scrupulous, often self-consciously charming and delicate prose, than the escalation, the coarseness of these Hyde Park verbs…It is a point of view. Certainly it contrives to forget the start of the disorder: the defeat of the reform legislation, the locking of the gates against the reform meeting (for which, as it happens, there were no legal grounds). As so often, it picks up the story at a convenient point: at the point of response, sometimes violent, to repression; not at the repression itself. Even so, it is a point of view and a familiar one.”

 

 

The above excerpt is from an essay by the British Marxist thinker Raymond Williams “One Hundred Years of Culture and Anarchy”, which is part of his path-breaking collection of essays Culture and Materialism. The first paragraph is a quotation that Williams makes from Mathew Arnold’s essay Culture and Anarchy written in the 1860s in response to the workers’ demonstration at Hyde Park asking for voting rights for workers. Arnold’s argument and language is all too familiar to us now, as that is the language available to us through mainstream media and in general the middle class public sphere, while talking about the brutal deployment of force and violence on the students at the University of Hyderabad. Many seem to be in the business of picking up stories at convenient points. Continue reading Let us not be little Arnolds in these times : Sudha K F

Solidarity Statement from Concerned EFLU Alumni Against State Crackdown in UoH

 

We, the alumni of English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, condemn in the strongest possible words the brutality unleashed by the police with the cooperation of the university administration on 22 March 2016, after the Vice Chancellor, Prof Appa Rao Podile, ‘took charge’. We are disturbed seeing the chain of events that the VC triggered to ensure ‘his smooth return’, in spite of being accused of abetting the suicide of research scholar, Rohith Vemula. In the wake of an ongoing case, the VC chose to orchestrate his return with the aid of the police so that any voice of dissent opposing his return is crushed mercilessly. As former students of this university, we are extremely angry seeing this State sponsored violence inside a university and disturbed seeing students become victims to it. An ideal university must exist as a space for dialogue, dissent and strive to be devoid of power structures inherent in relationships that students have amongst themselves, with the university workers and the teachers. However, like the world outside of the university space, all of our classrooms have not in effect been a ‘clean space’. Rather, it has been a microcosm of the realities that exist outside of our pristine gates. Thus, when ASA activist and research scholar, Rohith Vemula took his life, what was thrown open to this nation was the bare truth of caste that the intellectual and political class has been avoiding for long. Instead of interrogating this systemic problem that has been a part and parcel of this nation since its formation, the UoH administration under VC Prof Appa Rao sought to suppress a student movement, unleasing a first of its kind seeking justice for Vemula and all other Dalit, Adivasi and Bahujan students that were ruthlessly harassed and humiliated by universities. Triggering nation-wide protests, the movement had also become a topic of discussion in the center where news such as the death of a Dalit student had often been blacked out.
It is in the wake of this two months long peaceful student protest that the VC used the might of the police and the RAF to ‘protect himself’ from the democratically protesting students. Alleging that the protesters vandalised the VC’s residence (with zero evidence), the police came down heavily on the student protesters and went onto assault faculty members who were trying to protect these students. Arresting 30 students and 2 faculty members and taking them to ‘unknown’ locations, the police managed to create an atmosphere of terror for the students of UoH, wherein possibilities of fake encounters creeped on everyone’s mind. If this wasn’t enough, the VC also managed to convince workers to go on strike and leave the student community without food for 48 hours. Power and internet were subsequently cut off and women students who tried to hold their ground were threatened with rape by the RAF. When there was no food, a few students who took the initiative of cooking food at the university premises were beaten and detained, all the while when the UoH VC had taken ‘steps’ to store milk and water at his residence. Now, with reports of the police particularly picking and beating up the Muslim students badly, among those who were arrested, we are forced to believe that what happened at UoH is the ugliest face of this regime with respect to student community in India. Even more so with the Telengana government standing as mute spectator to the protest, fully knowing how students across universities in Hyderabad had supported the Telengana movement. The police has also released a fresh list of students to be arrested.
This is a planned and systematic attempt to break down the students movement demanding action against the VC and the implementation of Rohith Act. In the wake of such brutalities, we are amazed seeing the spirit of the students of UoH in standing up to the bullies and goons who have taken law into their hands. We stand in solidarity with them, their struggle and condemn the violation of their rights and dignity by the VC and the state government. We condemn the branding of students as ‘antinationals’ and vandalisers, the physical and emotional abuse of the arrested students and faculty, the assault on women students, faculty and media persons and the ruthless targeting of Muslim students by the police and the RAF. We condemn in strong words the rape threats and the police rule that was implemented on campus violating basic human rights. We demand the immediate withdrawal of cases against the students and faculty and the withdrawal of the police from the campus. We demand that the VC be removed from inflicting further harm to the students and that Rohith Act be implemented with immediate effect.
We have also seen photos and videos of the police brutally attacking student protesters in Chennai, Calicut and Mumbai who raised their voices against the atrocity meted by the UoH students. We condemn the act of the state government in the respective places and their draconian attempts of charging the protesters with IPC 153 etc to silence any voice of dissent.
In solidarity

Continue reading Solidarity Statement from Concerned EFLU Alumni Against State Crackdown in UoH

Statement by Concerned Faculty from The English and Foreign Languages University on the Police Crackdown at HCU

We, the concerned faculty from The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, strongly condemn the police brutality at the University of Hyderabad on 22nd March 2016, after the return of Prof. Appa Rao Podile, the Vice-Chancellor accused of abetting the suicide of the Dalit Research Scholar Rohith Vemula. As an academic community, we are extremely disturbed by the excessive interference of the state machinery, administrative conspiracies, the abuse of power and systemic oppression that prevail in many of the universities in India of late. A university should be a just and egalitarian space. But the suicides of Dalit students with the recent case of Rohith Vemula lay bare systemic structures of oppression and institutional legitimization of caste violence existing within Indian universities. Our university spaces need serious re-vamping to ensure equal opportunity, social justice and critical discourses. Continue reading Statement by Concerned Faculty from The English and Foreign Languages University on the Police Crackdown at HCU

A Fig-leaf Called ‘Vandalism’ by UoH Students: SC and ST Faculty Forum and Concerned Teachers of University of Hyderabad

 

For the past three days the news media has been circulating widely, stories about ‘vandalism’ by students of the University of Hyderabad that led to the police crackdown. Surprisingly little information is actually there on the actual context, timing, duration and nature of the vandalism. It appears that the claim that a group of students indulged in acts of vandalism is enough to justify a full scale war on the entire campus community of over 5000 students.  Yet this charge of vandalism is no more than a fig leaf . Continue reading A Fig-leaf Called ‘Vandalism’ by UoH Students: SC and ST Faculty Forum and Concerned Teachers of University of Hyderabad