Dear young friends who went to Jhandewala on Rohith Vemula’s birthday,
And all those who were there in spirit, in Delhi, Hyderabad and elsewhere. I am writing to you because I think you might have all taken things much further than anyone can quite imagine or understand at present.
I am writing to you, for today and for tomorrow, so that every time in the future that young people gather to celebrate their friend Rohith’s birthday, we might all begin to have a different kind of conversation. So that the boundaries between mourning and celebration, between anger and joy may always remain blurred enough for us to know what to do next, each time.
Since you had a close encounter with the police and their colleagues in the RSS on Rohith’s birthday, I want to spend a little time thinking about them with you. Bear with me. I sincerely hope we will not have to bear with them for much longer.
Continue reading Operation Ekalavya : Jhandewala, New Delhi, Rohith Vemula’s Birthday, 30th January 2016
Anonymous Guest Post
[This is a response to the recent political developments in the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. On 1nd March, 2013, Mudasir Kamran, a Kashmiri Muslim PhD scholar of the university was taken to the police station by the Proctor and some other professors of the university in pretext of a personal enmity between Mudasir and his erstwhile room-mate, where he was detained throughout the night without any written complaint being filed. Mudasir came back broken, asking why he was treated like a thief and a criminal. On 2nd March, he committed suicide. A section of the students since then has been demanding for the suspension of the Proctor, an apology from the university, and compensation to the family. The university administration dealt with this in a fiercely draconian manner. They refused to meet the students, they enforced police protection, they threatened a null semester, even a total shut-down of the university. They did not issue a single apology, they appeared in front of media and produced false versions of the events hand in glove with the police (that was subsequently refuted by the alleged eye-witnesses), they constituted a faculty-only Fact-Finding Committee without removing the accused from his administrative position. Rumours have been floated about the alleged homosexuality and the mental instability, thus inciting the cultural stereotype of social aberration and criminality. One unofficially Leftist section alleged that the students are spreading rumours and contacting their “Kashmiri friends” to ignite the fire of unrest in Kashmir (although there has been and still is no connection between student’s demand and what is happening in Kashmir). On 8th March, they finally succeeded in coercing the students enough to make them ask for a resumption of normalcy on the campus. The Vice-Chancellor has threatened that any political activity on the campus will result in a null semester. She has ensured that classes will commence under heavy ‘police protection’ on Monday. A section of the teachers who has refused to accept the responsibility for Mudasir’s unfortunate death has demanded for criminal cases to be filed against the protesting students. Since the protesting side has been majorly comprised of dalits, OBCs, minorities, this is an attempt from their side to allegorically (and satirically, in the tradition of Jonathan Swift who once wrote his ‘modest proposal’ that the British landed aristocracy simply eat Irish children as a way to end the problem of poverty in Ireland) express some of the horrors they have to go through to even stage a basic minimum democratic protest in a so-called elite university.]
[This text has been slightly edited and modified, mainly to allow for easier reading, and to correct a few syntactical slips, but the general tone and style, including capitalization and some archaisms have been maintained so that it is clear that this is a legitimate work of satire, written in the public interest. Kafila]
A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR PREVENTING THE DALITS, MINORITIES, AND IN GENERAL THE POOR AND THE MARGINALIZED FROM BEING A BURDEN ON THE GLORY OF THE ENGLISH AND FOREIGN LANGUAGES UNIVERSITY, HYDERABAD AND FOR MAKING THEM BENEFICIAL TO THE UNIVERSITY.
Continue reading A Modest Proposal from EFLU Students, Hyderabad: Anonymous