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An Open Letter to the JNU Vice-Chancellor

An Open Letter to the JNU Vice-Chancellor

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Mr. Jagadesh Kumar,
Jawaharlal Nehru University


 Sub: Institutional Torture by University Administration for raising voice against the draconian UGC Gazette 2016

I am Dileep Kumar Yadav, a Ph.D Scholar in the Centre for Inner-Asian Studies, School of International Studies and am about to submit my Ph.D thesis in some weeks. It is quite unfortunate that at a time when I am at the last stage of my work, the administration headed by you has been unleashing acts of institutional torture on me for the last couple of weeks. The only ‘mistake’ I did was that I raised my voice against the draconian UGC Gazette 2016, which had a destructive effect on the academic life of many students, and is still being contested by the students through legal petitions, mass protests, and other means.

Since the time I sat on a hunger strike for 78 hours, not taking even water, against the implementation of the UGC Gazette in an arbitrary and dictatorial manner, the JNU administration headed by you has been repeatedly targeting me. I have been subjected to 3 hostel transfers and a fine of around 50,000 has been imposed upon me at various points in time. Despite my strong conviction that I have not done anything wrong, I had been co-operating with every punishment, as I wanted to go on with my academic career and can’t afford to have a break in it.

I was transferred to Kaveri Hostel last February and have been living there since then. But now you have issued another transfer order, asking me to shift to the dormitory in Damodar Hostel. I communicated to hostel authorities that I need to work peacefully for a couple of weeks more, as I am about to submit my thesis, and it will be quite unfair to force me to vacate my room and to complete my work living in a dormitory. I had submitted a letter to you on 07/06/2018 explaining the same. But my request to have an extension for a couple of weeks was turned down and it was informed to me that your office is giving repeated orders to ensure that I vacate at the earliest.

It seems you have taken a decision to stop me from submitting my thesis, which is a product of my years of hard work, by subjecting me to institutional torture. I hail from a socially and educationally backward background and continued my studies till now through great hardships. For last two weeks, every other day security guards are being sent to my room to intimidate me through physical violence. Besides this, two wardens of Kaveri hostel, who hail from upper-caste (Brahmin) background are insulting me every day with casteist slurs and telling me that people like me from a lower-caste background (OBC) are not eligible to be in elite institutions like JNU. Adding to these attempts of social boycott and humiliation, even my JNU internet id has been deactivated, thus creating an additional obstacle for my work.

My struggles, for which I am being punished and humiliated, have been for the rights of the students belonging to socially marginalized sections and against draconian orders such as the UGC Gazette which is closing the doors of academic institutions for students from socially oppressed backgrounds. The social boycott and humiliation that you are imposing upon me are quite similar to what is happening with Dalit-Bahujan and other progressive activists across the universities in this country, and as a result of which Rohith Vemula lost his life. At this juncture, I request you to introspect over these inhuman methods of torture that you are subjecting me to and stop your attempts to ruin my academic career.

Yours Faithfully

Dileep Kumar Yadav