After Rohith Vemula’s Death, Watch How Students And Staff Of Hyderabad Uni Are Fighting On

Posted on January 24, 2016 in Campus Watch, Video

By Manira Chaudhary

The air is abuzz with chants of “We want justice! We want justice!” as hundreds of students along with many faculty members sit in protest, demanding strict action against the Vice Chancellor of Hyderabad University, MoS Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya and some students of ABVP.

What has followed Rohith Vemula’s suicide, is an intensification of protests throughout the country and has sparked off a series of politically motivated moves and statements. The University was forced to revoke the suspension of the other four Dalit students, buckling under pressure and national media glare. The students, however, have refused to end the strike and continue to demand the Vice Chancellor’s resignation. Around the same time, 10 Dalit professors from the University resigned in protest of Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani’s statement refuting the role caste identity had to play in the incident.

On 23rd of January, in a move made very evidently to pacify the Dalit community, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, but his statements on Vemula’s death received flak from various sections. On the same day, seven students who have been on hunger strike since Vemula’s death were taken to the hospital and another set of seven students took their place to continue the agitation.

The Union HRD Ministry has now set up a judicial commission to probe the circumstances which led to Vemula’s suicide, which will submit its report in three months.

The following video, uploaded by YouTube channel ‘Justice for Rohith UoH’, shows one of the five expelled Dalit scholars Dontha Prashanth, also the elected President of the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA), recounting various incidents of discrimination against Dalit students across the country and raising some pertinent questions regarding the progression of the enquiry.

The video is one of the series of videos being uploaded by the mentioned channel on a daily basis, documenting the ongoing protests in the Hyderabad Central University.

“More than 88% of Dalit students in the country are facing discrimination… This problem in Hyderabad University is not an isolated one,” says T.N. Seema, Rajya Sabha MP and also Member of Court at the Hyderabad Central University, as she takes up the stage amidst protesting students and faculty members demanding answers from the Vice Chancellor.

G.N. Subbarao, a research scholar at the Hyderabad Central University calls India a “caste-blinded society” as he performs a self-written song hailing Buddha, Phule, Periyar and Ambedkar, to pay tribute to Rohith Vemula.

The precarious situation at the Hyderabad University is evident as some students can be seen clashing with the police trying to suppress the protest.

The spark which has been ignited following Rohith’s death seems to be growing stronger with every passing day, as hundreds can be seen camping out at night, continuing their protest against the Vice Chancellor and the MoS Bandaru Dattatreya.

To watch more, head to Justice For Rohith UoH

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