The appalling pamphlet put out by ABVP calling for a protest outside CHS against Rajini Krish’s death is absolutely uncalled for. We unequivocally reject the politically manipulative and conniving concern extended by the Killers of Rohith Vemula and Assaulters of Najeeb Ahmed. It is a dangerous sign of the future to come.
It has been known that whenever Dalit-Bahujans start asserting politically, the right-wing claim immediate stakes on this assertion while the left bastions, even while extending solidarity to the oppressed, affirm the right-wing’s claim. In this time of extreme grief, we are now facing a similar two-pronged attack: One, an attempt to appropriate the death of one of us, and our struggle by the saffron right-wing. The other, an accusation by ‘thekedars’ of left progressivism of being in complicity with and becoming the ‘foot soldiers’ of these very forces even while portraying themselves as the modern Jajmans of the education system. BAPSA as an organization, guided by the vision of social justice showed to us by Babasaheb Ambedkar, has always actively opposed both the Hindu right wing and all other Brahminical elements.
We condemn ABVP’s move of protest in front of CHS because we believe their concerns are not only fake, but more than that, they are dangerously harmful for Krish’s identity as Dalit. One thing that is glaring at us in ABVP’s pamphlet is that they have tried to hide his identity as Dalit with their saffronized language. Nowhere have they mentioned in their pamphlet that he is a Dalit and a strong Ambedkarite activist. By attempting to brahminize his identity, by referring to him with a name he never used for himself, they are essentially trying to erase his assertive Dalit self. Beyond any surprise ABVP jumped in to settle score with their rivals. Unfortunately, a Dalit has to die to awaken their ‘conscience’. A Dalit’s life has become a spectacle for a drama that ABVP has unleashed. It is atrocious that a right wing organization is seeking justice for the oppressed, given their long history of perpetrating violence on the bodies of the marginalized. ABVP is trying to manipulate students’ perception of Krish and the conditions created by this Brahmanical social order that led to his institutional murder.
The naming of specific faculty members in context of the problems Krish was facing in his Centre is a dilution and a gross misrepresentation of the problem that we are trying to raise. We, as an organization, have not mentioned any particular faculty member as directly responsible for his death but want to stress on how Dalits and other students from deprived background do not receive the same support system as others do. We would like to point out that there is a lack of proactive and conducive social environment which then proves to be discriminatory and exclusionary for the Dalits and other marginalized. Our only demand is to conduct an impartial inquiry and raise the issue of covert discriminatory practices, particularly in CHS. We would also like to clearly state that neither Krish’s parents nor us have filed a police complaint against any particular individual. Moreover, it is NOT our intention to do so since we believe that this is an instance of institutional discrimination, rather than one that is being presented by forces like ABVP. The ABVP, ironically, seem to be working in cohorts with the flag-bearers of CHS’s progressivism to delegitimize our demand and struggle. While the former is unabashedly trying to appropriate, the latter has stooped to new levels of low by attempting to malign Krish by spreading rumours about his personal life. The defensive stand taken by the faculty and most students of CHS with a signature campaign outright denying even a possibility of discrimination at the center only proves how such apparently progressive places of learning are considered unquestionable and sacrosanct.
It is extremely sorrowful that the dead body of a Dalit has become a battleground for various Brahmanical agents of the political spectrum, while we are being made mute spectators of the Death of one of our own. We would like to reiterate our stand once again, that there has to be a free and fair enquiry into the Institutional Murder of Krish by an independent enquiry committee and a compensation be given to his family for the irreparable loss that has been inflicted upon them.
While the upholders of oppression, the right-wing RSS dictated ABVP is trying to shed crocodile tears and hand down cheap pity and sympathy, the flag bearers of liberal progressives are no better and busy proving how pro-Dalits they are. We strongly reject the cheap pity, tears and reducing sympathy. The self-assertion of Dalits has been proving to be a great danger to the Savarnas, of all hues. We are ready to fight our battle on our own till justice is delivered and for the same we need neither pity nor sympathy from the oppressors.
~ Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA-JNU)