ROHITH VEMULA was a research scholar at the University of Hyderabad (UoH). In Life he inspired through his activism and in the wake of his institutional murder has now come to symbolize Dalit Bahujan and adivasi revolution in India.
Months of sparring with ABVP groups on campus led to rohith and 4 other dalit students being unfairly suspended in a casteist hearing by the UOH Administration. Significantly the basis of the students suspension was the involvement of the Minister of Human dievelopments condemnation that their anti-caste organizing was in fact anti-national. In protest, they camped outside the hostel in an area they termed “Velivada” (Dalit ghetto). the toll of being politically targetd by the administration for his activism and with the increasing burdens of his scholarly and financial loses led to him tragically taking his life.
In his poignant note he wrote “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 stardust.”
The loss of a brilliant young Dalit man , enraged the campus, the nation and the world. And has create a vibrant new movement asking for the end of caste apartheid and the passing of a Rohith Act to protect marginalized students on campus. This first day in Dalit History Month, we honor the spirit of Rohith Vemula, our revolutionary brother. We raise our fists in a show of solidarity for all marginalized students in their ongoing fight and salute the spirit of Radhika Vemula, the Dalit mother, who is continuing to fight for justice for her son.
Recently launched TV commercial by Havells Fans is not only anti-reservation but also disrespectful to the Constitution of India, which guarantees representation of lower castes.
Havells Fans in the TV ad for representation is using words such as ‘ladder’ but has it considered how all its business is running in family? No matter their sons and daughters has ‘merit’ or ‘qualification’ but they will inherit the business, won’t you call this as ‘ladder’? Havells Fans is afraid from that the demand of representation in private sector is emerging. Almost all the seats in private sector are filled with people with jugad and so called upper castes and these castiest organisation.
Why doesn’t Havells has guts to speak against thousands years old Hindu caste system? Doesn’t Havells want to bring ‘winds of change’ or doesn’t it want to ‘hawa badlegi’ towards caste discrimination?
Havells has just proved itself as an ignorant parasite. Just like ‘some’ of the generations of ‘privileged’ castes who exploited the untouchables & the marginalized, & amassed social, religious & economic equity that could sustain their ilk for many generations. Now, Havells is here to teach us no to avail the opportunities that could open the doors of social and economic upliftment.
“Apni hawa me hun pala, apne dum par hun khada”
Is Havells not using ‘ladder’ in terms of loans and freebies on tax exemptions from Government? Would Havells reject that? Government provided you ‘ladder’ and is still providing you ‘ladder’ through refinancing your loans so don’t tell us what is ‘ladder’ and first stop using that ‘ladder’ yourself. Post independent when Havells was founded it could flourish because of government’s supported ‘ladder’ in terms of promoting local businesses and boycotting foreign businesses.
We demand to take down this casteist commercial as we are not your Pankhas!
The University Grants Commission annually allots only 11 per cent of the total money it gets under the SC and ST sub plans on scholarships and fellowships, which directly benefits the students of these marginalised communities.
As per a reply given by UGC to a RTI query, it spent only Rs 107.86 crore for scholarships and fellowships out of the Rs 1047.33 crore in the SC sub-plan in 2012-13 and Rs 35.56 crore of the allotted Rs 507.20 crore of the Tribal sub-plan.
In the preceding year it spent Rs 87.86 crore of Rs 814.50 crore on scholarships and fellowships in the SC sub-plan and Rs 33.53 crore out of Rs 400.61 crore in the Tribal-sub plan.
A major chunk of the total money, around 60 per cent, was spent on building “capital assets” which are not specifically beneficial for SC or ST students, like construction of hostels or buying computers.
For this reason the UGC has come under fire from Dalit rights organizations.
Mr Paul Divakar, general secretary of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, which filed the RTI said, “This is not an issue which pertains just to the UGC. Ineffective spending and diversion of funds meant for SC and ST development exists in many well known institutions like the IITs, IIMs and ICSSR. This is just another form of discrimination. We have complained about the UGC problem to the minister of HRD, Ms Smriti Irani and head of other government bodies, but to no avail. We are planning to approach the courts now.”
When contacted, former UGC chairman Mr Sukhdeo Thorat said, “The allocation of money should be increased for fellowships because it helps the students directly and will result in more Dalit scholars pursuing research. What is the point of allocating money meant under the sub-plans if students do not benefit from it directly?”
Another study in the book ‘Blocked by Caste: Economic Discrimination and Social Exclusion in Modern India’ published in 2010 reports discrimination in Public Distribution System (PDS). fair price shops, are either owned privately or run by cooperatives.
An analysis by Thorat and Lee, drawing on a survey of PDS outlets in 531 villages across five States, shows that there was discriminatory behaviour against Dalits by the PDS staff in respect of prices in 28 per cent of villages and in respect of quality in 40 per cent. In 26 per cent of the villages, dealers practised untouchability “by dropping goods from above into cupped Dalit hands below, so as to avoid ‘polluting contact’.”