Two professors and 27 students were abducted forcibly by Telangana Police from Hyderabad Central University on 22nd of March, 2016. Police had beaten students brutally in a lupine laathi charge and almost hundreds of students were hospitalized on the same day.
Entire University was under police occupation for four days from 22nd. And the police are trying to arrest more students. Forget about students, most of the faculty remained silent over the abduction of their colleagues, it was not even official arrest. Only a few are doing the running around, with students, police stations (to confirm where their colleagues and students), the courts (to file petitions for their information and release), and jail (to show support to the jailed colleagues and pupils).
But they are very few and some of the senior faculty, said to be pro-Dalit and Minority and other oppressed and deprived categories of students remained silent, said nothing against the brutality of Appa Rao.
It is a mistake on our part if we think the silence and inaction of such faculty members will help anybody including themselves.
To justify their silence and inaction or to prepare ground for switching to the other side – the administration and ABVP and the Sangh government – these faculty members are saying something like this:
”by indulging in violence students have fallen into the trap of Appa Rao. If students decided to express their view against to Appa Rao’s entry into the University they should have done peaceful protest in front of the Admin or VC’s house’.
Now, I asking my dear faculty that why did you not question the entry of Appa Rao into University without informing the In-Charge VC Prof Periasamy?
Why are you not questioning the Registrar who did confirm the entry of Appa Rao, without even consulting Periya Swamy on the University official page?
Why you are not questioning the faculty who are in VC’s logde in an official meeting with one of the accused in the case of murder of Rohith Vemula, an accused who is running away from the arrest? Why are you not questioning the ABVP students who were already there in the VC’s house?
Maintaining silence over these questions you are criticizing the students of ASA and JAC for their forceful entry into the VC’s house. Of course, you have every right to criticize us but you have to be clear in differentiating the violence committed by Appa Rao, his ‘like-minded’ faculty, NTS, ABVP and the resistance put up by the ASA – JAC.
Violence was first committed by the administration and their minions what ASA and JAC is doing is not at all violence, certainly it is counter-violence.
The bizarre framing of the entire situation by you people is simply this: “The Oppressors oppress the Oppressed to welcome them into his trap. So the advice is that the Oppressed should be very carefully and consciously avoid falling into this trap by committing violence”. This benevolent-sounding advice, even in the garb of strategic counsel, means simply: victims are to be blamed, not the perpetrators. When they oppress you, be oppressed. Don’t resist. Resistance is falling into the trap of the Oppressor. Compliance, obedience is best thing to do.
If you think Appa Rao is not guilty of the serious crime he was charged with, pushing Rohith Vemula to death, until he was proved guilty by the courts and until then he can not only avoid arrest, and even become VC, without even trying to follow the basic protocol such a thing requires, you are not at all with us.
Or if you believe that Appa Rao is an oppressor then there is no point in suggesting to us or framing ASA – JAC response as ‘violence’.
We are asking you, on which side are you? With the Oppressor or Oppressed?” Even if you are concerned with our lives you must raise voice against Appa Rao and find legal ways to rescue us from those ‘offences’, legal ones, though cannot be moral ones.
Murali Ramathoti is Ph.D scholar in University of Hyderabad.