Rohith Vemula suicide: Dalit professors threaten to quit, campus tries to lower heat

According to the Forum, Irani Wednesday said a senior Dalit professor was part of the executive council sub committee that took the decision to suspend the students including Vemula.

Written by Apurva , Ritika Chopra | Hyderabad/new Delhi | Updated: January 21, 2016 2:43 pm
Dalit Sucide, Dalit Suicide in Hyderabad, Suicide in Hyderabad University, dalit professors, dalit professors Hyderabad University, dalit professors quit, Rohith Vemula, Rohith Vemula case, Rohith Vemula suicide, Hyderabad University, Hyderabad University Dalit professors, hyderabad news A photo of Rohith Vemula garlanded at the protest site at the Hyderabad Central University on Wednesday. (Source: AP)

Deepening the crisis in Hyderabad University, teachers belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Wednesday unanimously resolved to resign from all administrative posts in solidarity with students protesting the suspension of five students, one of whom committed suicide last Sunday.

The University of Hyderabad SC/ST Teachers and Officers Forum also condemned remarks made by HRD Minister Smriti Irani at a press conference in New Delhi and alleged she had “misrepresented” facts and “misled the nation”.

Watch video | Suspended Dalit Hyderabad Student Hangs Himself: What Transpired

“We express our solidarity with students who are protesting against the death of Rohith Vemula and demand the immediate revocation of suspension and removal of police cases filed against our students,” the Forum said in a statement. This is the first time a teachers’ body of the university passed such a resolution. “In response to the honourable minister’s fabricated statements, we the Dalit faculty and officers will lay down our administrative positions,” said one of the teachers at the protest site.

S Sudhakar Babu, convenor of the Forum, said they will begin tendering resignations if their demands are not met. “We want all students reinstated, jobs and compensation for Rohith Vemula’s family and a better mechanism in the university to deal with such student issues,” Babu told The Indian Express.

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According to the Forum, Irani Wednesday said a senior Dalit professor was part of the executive council sub committee that took the decision to suspend the students including Vemula.

“It was headed by an upper caste professor… and there are no Dalit faculty in this sub committee. Incidentally, the dean of student welfare who happens to be a Dalit was notionally co-opted an an ex-officio member of the committee. It is unfortunate that since its inception, no Dalit representation has been given in this council,” the Forum stated.

“Such a baseless and misleading statement coming from the honourable minister of HRD amounts to bringing down the morale of Dalits holding administrative positions in this and other universities. By deflecting this issue, the honourable MHRD minister is absolving herself and the honourable minister Bandaru Dattatreya from being responsible for the death of Rohith Vemula,” the Forum said.

Meanwhile, the university is considering dilution of the punishment meted out to the students and possible closure of the institution for a few days to lower tempers on the campus.

Sources in the university administration said Vice Chancellor Appa Rao may soon call an emergency meeting of the executive council (EC) to discuss the proposal.

Rao, university sources said, is in favour of reducing the six-month suspension, starting December 18, 2015, to one month. Last November, the EC expelled the five students, including Vemula, from the hostel and barred access to public places on campus. They were, however, allowed to attend lectures and pursue their research in the university. The students were punished for allegedly assaulting an ABVP student leader on campus.

If the law and order situation on campus goes out of hand, the university could also consider closing for a few days.

“The student’s death is unfortunate but this issue is now being used to further political motives. The university could also close for some days to help normalcy return to campus life,” said an official who did not wish to be identified.

Irani told The Indian Express Wednesday that she hadn’t received any communication from the university regarding dilution in punishment meant for the remaining four scholars. An official reaction from the university was not immediately available.

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  1. A
    Arun
    Jan 21, 2016 at 6:07 am
    Now dalit professors are jumed in to scene they became professor but still calls them selve dalit oppressed, supreesed etc they don't deserve to be what they are
    Reply
    1. S
      Sirius
      Jan 21, 2016 at 5:08 am
      We need to examine the research publications, PhD students of such Faculty members. Currently, only reserved category get appointed in permanent positions in Universities, and all others are ad-hoc appointments . Once appointed as permanent,such faculty get disinterested in academics and take to activism and politics (within University) . Examples are those who regularly appear as 'panelists' in TV news shows ... To me, the continuous improvements of academic content on MooC's (Coursera, EdXetc) and their accreditation to University programmes seems the only hope forward ...
      Reply
      1. B
        BRAHMINS.ARE.TERRORISTS
        Jan 21, 2016 at 1:46 am
        Brahmin scoundrels cannot digest that they are losing MISCERABLY in all elections after FAKE MODI'S butCHERISHMA is evaporating.
        Reply
        1. H
          Haradhan Mandal
          Jan 21, 2016 at 5:57 am
          It is not surprising knowing their 'history' of manufacturing 'History'! Manufacturing 'fact' is done by 'manufacturing it' and, also, by twisting the 'fact' in your favor . And the other is the 'Twisting their argument onto some other issue'. Like the debate of 'Intolerance' - she tried to make it as Dalit VS Rest of India (NON-Dalit - a potion of 800-900 Millions). It s an issue of Dalit student (and the Dalit students' ociations) VS the 'caste-force of India'. It is an also issue of People of India VS the 'intolerance' of the 'caste-force' of India.
          Reply
          1. A
            Anand.Sharma
            Jan 21, 2016 at 12:01 am
            Let them quit. We will fill their positions with incompetent BRAHMIN S.
            Reply
            1. G
              George
              Jan 21, 2016 at 6:14 am
              I can tell this with certainty with years of experience. The Muslims and Dalits are mostly incompetent having come up by reservation quota in reservation and jobs. They blame others for their incompetence. If they are not given responsible jobs, it is because they will mess it up. It is time they work hard and try to be as equals rather than complain. Rarely are people evaluated based on caste or religion.
              Reply
              1. R
                Romik
                Jan 21, 2016 at 3:03 am
                I like it "job Wapsi"! And what will happen when they get depressed. All positions should be based on Merit ALONE. That is the best and fair system!
                Reply
                1. A
                  Aditya V
                  Jan 21, 2016 at 3:22 am
                  who politicized the issue 1.there was a scuffle between 2 student groups(not necessary as students we are supposed to study and get out looking for jobs) 2.One exaggerated scuffle and went in and got admitted to a private hospital( exaggeration confirmed by both police and university officials) 3.Same went to union minister with exaggerated claims and complained.(Point is both and minister are affiliated to same political group) 4.Minister forwards complaint to HRD headed by person affiliated to same group BJP/ABVP 5. HRD hounds university officials with 4-5 letters till unaffiliated ic student is kicked out/stipend stopped- end result suicide. 6.WHY DO PEOPLE CONVENIENTLY FORGET ROLES PLA BY ABVP/BJP ministers and question the guy who is dead.Forget whether the student was dalit/OBC/Forward caste,,,was there a role for government to get involved.Whats the guarantee next time some other ABVP/affiliated guy can kick out any good natured/ meritorious student drive them to suicide based on some frivolous/false charge.
                  Reply
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