His speech at the talk organised by the Ambedkarite Students’ Association at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, held on 22nd December, 2014. The speech has been transcribed by Valliammal Karunakaran.
My name is Anoop and I have been working on the issue of Dalit students in Indian campuses for almost 20 years now, first as a student then after completing my studies as an organizer. I have been involved in other activities too but mostly focus on students. About this topic – Indian campuses and caste, I share a very love-hate relationship with these campuses. The campuses, which I really want to destroy because I believe that these are not our spaces. But on the other hand, I also help our students to enter into these spaces. I teach students at Wardha since last two years. I have been teaching students for various entrance exams. I want them to get into these spaces but somehow I do not have the confidence that these educational spaces will provide justice to our students because the whole design of these spaces is very brahminical. And that has been my experience right from my engineering college days to JNU and afterwards. There is something in-built in these spaces which actually takes away the dignity of our students and makes them feel very left out and unwelcome. I will start with the example of TISS, the admission procedure of TISS, through which I will try to explain what I mean when I say that I hate these campuses and believe that these are inherently very brahminical spaces. It is a very big fight for us, it is a conflict whether I want these spaces to get diluted and become less brahminical or try to create a vision of an alternate space.
I’ve been teaching students in a small town in Maharashtra. So last year , 24 students of mine sat for TISS entrance exam and all of them were from very humble backgrounds – SC, OBC and NT/DNT. None of them had an English medium schooling. What made me to ask them to sit for this exam was that there was no entrance fee for our students. Yet I had to goad them to fill the form. None of them knew about TISS. Once they came to know that the entrance exam will be in English, they were like, “No no, we just cannot sit in the exam, we cannot compete in this”. So I had to goad them. A couple of my students are sitting here today. I had to force them to apply because I knew that they can compete, it’s not that they can’t compete. So they sat for the exam and after three months of labour, 12 of them were able to pass the preliminary written exam. Out of the 12, 5 students finally got through into TISS.
That was the first time I started looking at the examination pattern. I also have given several entrance exams but I was an English medium student so I could not understand the pattern then. But now when I look at the kinds of questions asked [in these tests], everything is in English, everything online. Most of my students had never even touched a computer. So last two three days before [the TISS online entrance test], I had to bring them to my place, and they stayed with me. I had to teach them how to handle a laptop and how to sit for the online exam.
When the students came back I asked about the question paper. They told me that about 30% of the questions were about English comprehension, 30% current affairs and some math and reasoning questions. I could not understand when the question paper was already in English, why do they need some 30 – 40 questions to test your English again. Actually this is where the discrimination starts. This is where I came to understand that you don’t want our kids to come to TISS actually. You only want to teach your own children – English speaking children – to become social workers, to talk about MNREGA, to talk about poor. You don’t want those children who have actually learnt about MNREGA first hand, to come and study in your campus. So basically you want your own children to come and become social workers and work on the issues of those who are never going to get admitted into your campuses. The kinds of questions you ask! About European football in current affairs! None of my students have even heard about that.
What I am trying to say is – what kind of knowledge are you testing? What is your criterion of knowledge? What is your definition of knowledge? The knowledge you are testing has nothing to do with the daily lives of the majority of the students in this country. And this is just about one incident I am telling, there are thousands and thousands of students who just cannot sit in your exams – not because they are less intelligent than you – because the examination has been designed in such a way that it excludes these people. Then I started looking at all other examination and patterns – the same thing everywhere.
Then the next moment comes when such student comes into the campus, if he somehow comes through. So if I am not an English medium student, if I am from a very humble background, I am definitely going to come through reservation because I am not able to compete with you. It is as simple as that. It has nothing to do with my merit or your merit. It’s just by chance that you are an English medium student and none of my students are. It has nothing to do with your intelligence or their intelligence. The whole system has been designed in a way that the concept of knowledge itself – what is knowledge? What constitutes knowledge? – has been defined in such a way that your own children can clear these exams.
Then the second concept comes into play – merit. Somehow our students get through reservation, and then there is this whole dialogue that starts against them – “See we have scored 70% marks in the entrance exam but you got through on only 45% marks. So you are non–meritorious”. It is a rigged examination. It is a one-sided examination. The moment our students somehow get in through reservation, they get marked again as non-meritorious students, those who don’t deserve to be there. Completely unwelcome! They cannot even have that joy of being able to reach to TISS, from the very first day. I value TISS as one of the better institutions but just imagine IITs, medical colleges! The trauma the student goes through when he/she has been declared non-meritorious! This is out in the open. Nothing remains hidden. The teacher knows about it the students and class fellows know about it. Then what happens, I am not even able to enjoy my success because my merit has been limited to the marks in the entrance exams.
I can tell you the stories of all those students whom I have coached. Out of the 24 students, there were 22 girls. All of the students who finally got into TISS are girls, from different parts of Wardha district. All are from villages and they were all BSW students and wanted to do an MA from here. I will just try to give you a brief glimpse into their lives. I am not trying to romanticize; I am just trying to tell you what actually merit is. All these girls, wake up at 5-5.30 am, they prepare food, they send their siblings to school, then they take a bus at 7 am, come to Wardha, which is some 30-45 km away, 9 am their classes start and till 12.30 pm they have classes, then they have to go back again cook, clean etc. and in between all this, they have to find time to study. So what I feel is – what about their merit? If they are able to get through TISS on 35% marks, 45% marks – isn’t it meritorious? These girls, who work so hard, cook, send siblings to school, take buses, trains, come to classes, go back, cook, and clean utensils… This is not just Wardha, it is everywhere. So what about those students? Every elite and state institution has been designed to exclude such students, from the very first step of the entrance exam.
I’m not the first person who is saying this; Dr. Ambedkar said this in his speech at Bombay Assembly, in 1926. On a debate about a Bombay University Bill, he said very forcefully: “This is wrong! By raising the level of the entrance, by making it so tough, actually you are excluding the majority of the people in this country who have no tradition of education. This is the first time these people are coming into education and you are excluding them by raising these levels.” He didn’t talk about the word merit probably because the concept of merit had not yet gained currency but he was talking about making it so hard for the students.
So if I call these spaces brahminical, I am not calling some professors brahminical or some students brahminical – of course there are many who are, without doubt – but I’m not interested in blaming few professors. I’m saying that these educational spaces have been deliberately designed in such a way, to discriminate from the first day. Take the case of IITs. Four years back, some of us came together to study the patterns of IIT. While working, we came across lot of instances came where Dalit and Adivasi students had committed suicide. There is this IIT Kanpur. We went there and came to know that in the last few years there have been 11 suicides. Out of 11 there were 8 Dalit and Adivasi students who have committed suicide.
See, suicide is something which is not uncommon. It is very common in India in higher education. Everywhere, in USA, in UK also students commit suicide. It is nothing new. It is not that this has something to do with caste only or India only. But what made us to look into it more deeply was that out of 11, 8 students who committed suicides were from SC/ST background. And if you notice in IIT Kanpur, there are hardly 10-12% SC ST students. See the ratio. It’s a very crude way of telling but still let me say to you that if out of 11 suicides, 80% are from a particular background, then there is certainly a problem. Suppose, If 11 students commit suicide and out of that 8 are women, definitely there is a problem there.
We tried to argue but you know they threw us out. They said, ‘Oh you guys are creating a caste issue here’. Their standard reply was, ‘You see our spaces are very competitive and these students were weak students, they were not able to compete. They are not able to take up this and they get stressed and committed suicide. We have yoga classes. Why they don’t come to yoga classes?’ These are the kind of replies we got from IIT administration. And once we started probing more, they threw us out literally saying, ‘You guys are creating problems’. IITs are supposed to be such meritorious institutions!
It is not about one IIT Kanpur. We came to know that there are a large number of students who have committed suicide all over the country and the majority belongs to these two categories – SCs and STs. There has to be something! Then we tried to dig out some data and we brought out 22 cases. We focused particularly on central educational institutions. Nobody bothers about state universities. If I say that in Lucknow University, 3 students committed suicide, nobody bothers. But if I say that in IIT Delhi, 3 students committed suicide, everybody notices. So it was also a kind of strategy for us. We have to focus somewhere and we focused on central institutions and IITs and medical colleges. We had a number of suicide cases but we focused on instances from the last 3 years because we could go and interview families, there may be some friends who could help us. So we went and documented 22 cases and we made 3 documentaries out of it under the name of ‘The Death of Merit’. So we put these documentaries on YouTube and there was a lot of hullaballoo around. The central government said they would do something but nothing came out of it.
So while making these documentaries what came out very clearly was that – out of these 22 students, no one was your so called ‘weak student’. There is this whole tendency of equating Dalits as ‘weak students’ and ‘non-meritorious’ students. If you take the case that we documented from AIIMS, New Delhi, the student who committed suicide – Balmukund Bharti -was from Bundelkhand. He was a topper from his school. He was a gold medalist. He had been awarded by the President of India. And the first day he enters into AIIMS ragging happens and he gets beaten up very badly on caste lines. He gets a room in the hostel wing where only upper caste students stay. I’m talking about AIIMS of 2006 when there was this whole anti-OBC reservation movement there. So already our students were feeling very vulnerable. In that year, this friend of mine got admission and got caught up in this. He was beaten up very badly. He was abused. On the doors of our students, the upper caste students inscribed, “You bloody SC/ST get out from this wing.” And when they complained about this to the professors, nothing happened. SC/ST students had to get out of that wing. Balmukund had to get out too this is how his first year started. By fifth year, he was not doing very well academically but he was passing. There was this one course – Social Medicine – which is supposed to be a very easy course. So he passed in all the courses but in this course he was failed twice by the same professor. When he went and spoke to this professor, he said, “You come here via reservation. You don’t have the brain to be a doctor.” Mind you this is Balmukund’s fifth year. This is his final year. The professor said to him – you don’t deserve to be a doctor and I will fail you, whatever you do I don’t care. This was his breaking point. Balmukund was clearly struggling. He was struggling throughout his 5 years as his friends and family members told us. And one fine day, 2 months before the completion of his degree, he committed suicide. This was one case where the parents came out very openly, after the suicide.
Suicides were happening. Suicides were happening where Dalit and Adivasi students were dying but this was the first case where the parents came out very openly saying that this is a caste issue. And they went to the media. Parents were from very humble background from a village in Madhya Pradesh, Bundelkhand area. If you watch the documentary, the parents say there that their boy was the first one from that area to become a doctor. This is the first boy who went to Delhi. This is the first boy who could have been a doctor from the entire neighbouring area. His father went to National Human Rights Commission; he went to SC and ST Commission. This is how we came to know about it and thought that we have to do something. We went to his village and talked with his parents and other family members and then we shot the documentary.
My own experience at engineering college was also like that only. I could also not complete my engineering. So I knew about caste discrimination in campuses. But talking to a father who has lost his son was something which was very a terrible experience for us and we really wanted to do something, so we made a team and made more documentaries. And for the first time, caste in higher education became a bit of public issue. Before these documentaries – nobody wanted to believe us that caste is there in the campuses.
It was this notion and my own family believed in this notion too that with education caste vanishes. Caste is there in my village, my home but you know my own father and my mother used to believe that once you go to Delhi, once you go to city, caste is not there, caste is a local problem. So we grow up believing this that caste is there only among the uneducated ones, with education caste vanishes. Now when I look back – initially it used to make me very angry that why my parents were lying. My father was a lawyer he was not some uneducated person who didn’t know. He was a lawyer. Why he never prepared me to defend myself against caste? Why there was no talk about caste in my home? Why there was this denial? This used to make me very angry, for a very long time.
But now when I look back I understand my father much better. And I appreciate, because this was the only way to grow your child. This is the only positive thing, because he knew how the world is. It is a denial; of course it is a denial. But there is this tendency to protect your children. Right? To whatever extent possible. And this I have seen amongst all my Dalit friends, this tendency. Our parents don’t want to talk about caste. But what happens is that if you don’t talk about caste in your home it makes me completely defenseless when I enter into these places. I have absolutely no clue how to handle a casteist and how to handle caste. And this belief is so strong that education is a panacea of all ills and with education all problems will vanish. My own parents refused to believe that what happened to me in engineering college had some caste issue. So this is the environment through which we come in and this is what I have always tried to fight. It’s not just about fighting against these educational spaces which are patently brahminical, out rightly brahminical spaces but also the defenselessness of us, which we have created ourselves.
Then there is another issue – the whole narrative that has been constructed post-independence that the upper castes are caste-less. If you look at history you will see that just before independence, this was not there. I will give you one example. For the past 2 years, there was this NCERT cartoon controversy going on. During that debate a lot of cartoons from the pre-independence surfaced. I was astonished to see that a lot of these were targeting caste system. A lot of cartoonists of that time were drawing cartoons criticizing caste system; they were even drawing brahmin figures as some chotidhari and as a symbol of brahminism. It shows that there was some space available before 1947, where there was talk on caste. Caste was certainly in discourse then. But what happens after independence? In my growing up period I have never seen one cartoon which talks about caste, although every newspaper has a cartoon section. So what happened to that discourse? It was the same country where this discourse was there and immediately after independence this discourse vanishes. The only anti-caste discourse that remains is with these wretched Dalit activists, the Ambedkarites, you know.
What happened is that this whole narrative of castelessness has been thoroughly propagated, that there is no caste, that caste is past. The moment I speak that I am a Dalit the upper caste gets offended, because he believes that I am accusing him or her of something. He actually believes that there is nothing called caste and caste is just a political manipulation. So what happens is that it criminalizes my articulation. I become a criminal. I become a criminal because I am raising an issue which is long dead, which is not there, which is no more relevant and I am raising the issue because I have some politics to play. You know like ‘Mayawati has sent me’. I am not kidding; these are the statements which were being made in JNU.
I joined JNU in 2001 and in the very first semester there is a paper on Indian Political System taught by a very well known Marxist guy. So he was teaching this course and then there was this whole debate on reservation in the class. The moment the debate on reservation comes, you know, our antennas also get up. This was the first semester and we were some 8-9 SC and ST students among a class of some 70 students. The moment the debate of reservation comes this whole cloak of ‘progressiveness’ vaporizes. If there is a debate on the issue of displacement or nuclear weapons or the class divisions in the society, the entire class takes a very progressive stand but as soon as the issue of reservations comes there is immediately a division and a lot of upper caste angst comes in open but you know we always keep our mouths shut. Their questions used to be like – sir, why do they need reservation? They now study in the elite schools. Out of the 8 Dalit students in the class, probably I was the only one who was from the English medium background. Rest were from more humble background from the interiors of Jharkhand, Bihar, Tamilnadu etc and none of them were very proficient in English and suddenly all of them became from a very ‘elite background’! And to that my Professor replied – No, Dalits live in slums. They are poor people.
I was like no, I don’t live in slums. And I don’t think that a majority of Dalit students here live in slums anymore. I thought if this professor is not able to convince me on the reservation how he would be able to convince upper caste students on reservation. He was just linking caste to poverty. He was not talking about discrimination. He was not talking about structural problems. But he was a good comrade, so he was ‘anti-brahminical also’! And so he made many students angry because he once talked about the brahminism in the class. But I was very happy that a professor was talking about it. I was very happy, seriously. After that class, there was a group study and we were all sitting together, and then there is this one student who gets up and starts abusing that professor, on how dare he talk about brahminism, brahmins are like that, brahmins are like this and brahmins are meritorious and he is just doing this brahmin-bashing. I was surprised as the student was so aggressive and everybody present there agreed that caste is no more and there is no caste.
I was someone who had come from a very particular background with a particular experience from an engineering college where I had seen how caste plays. Still I could not speak. I just kept silent. I didn’t know how to react. Because I thought these are all good students. These are all JNUites, supposed to be very progressive. I was very taken aback actually. I got very disturbed because inside the class these students acted very ‘progressive’. They didn’t realize that I was there. Somehow I was invisible I guess, because I was there, right there and they talked for long, for 15-20 minutes and they abused the professor like anything, you know, just because he talked about brahminism a little bit. This disturbed me a lot. The very next day, in the morning, I went to that professor and said probably your students did not know about caste, I want to share my own experience, would you allow me to share? Because I believe these are JNU students, they will go to media houses, they will become IAS officers, they will go to all these big places and they are not aware about caste. They don’t know about caste. But the professor said, you know I explained them. I said, yes, but you did not explain them properly because you linked it with poverty. It has nothing to do with poverty as such. Then the professor agreed.
The next day when there was a class, I took permission from the professor and I spoke for about 20 minutes and I told them about my experience in engineering college, my father’s experiences and how caste operates. There was a pin drop silence. But the whole class became so hostile after that, for the next 2 years, my entire MA program, nobody talked with me. It was again very shocking. I thought that I would share my own experience and this would open up the debate. And sharing own experience is not always a good experience in itself. You are almost naked before everyone. You are vulnerable, because all your emotions, all your experiences are out there in front. And there were people who looked shocked but there was also a complete disbelief in their face. They don’t want to believe you. Some students tried to poke around, to prove that whatever I said was a lie. That I told a big fat lie and that I had some ulterior motives, I want to become a politician etc. For the next two years, believe me, I’m not exaggerating even a bit, nobody talked with me in my class. I was also aggressive; I wasn’t a typical victim who was crying there. I said I don’t want your sympathy, I’m telling you because I want to tell you what caste is. So probably they didn’t like my tone or whatever, but the message was completely lost. The most surprising thing was the professor also didn’t talk to me after that. That was more shocking to me! I had no idea why.
For the next two years, I was absolutely clueless on how to deal with this much hostility and indifference. They also got a little afraid of me. They thought I’m some kind of monster. I thought this campus was very progressive, because this is how I came to know about JNU. After my engineering college experience, I didn’t want to study in any campus. I was so afraid of campuses. One of my seniors actually forced me to write for JNU entrance exam, in 2001. When I joined JNU it took me one week to enter into class. I could not even enter into the class for one week because of my past experience. I used to go to the building every day, and spent all time sitting on the stairs, watching the students passing by. I did this for days. Then I was like, ok fine, this is a different campus and supposedly one of the best campuses, and all here are very progressive. But I didn’t find any difference in JNU. May be they didn’t beat me up the way they used to beat up Dalit students in Engineering college, but there was complete hostility here too. So if that is progressiveness… if your idea of progressiveness is – ok fine, today I will not beat up a Dalit – then you are progressive. But the question is – are you willing to engage with the question of caste? Are you open? Are you ready to listen even? Are you willing to not make me feel like a criminal talking before you? They made me feel like a criminal as if I’m lying when I was telling about my father’s experience, my experience etc. This was the kind of environment which made me to actually work on this and since then onwards I have been working on this.
This one problem, you know. Let me go back to where I started from. This whole feeling that caste is a lie. That I am lying. Any Dalit who speaks about caste discrimination is a liar or is politically motivated. However much you try to deny it I am not going to believe you because this happens across the spectrum. This is not something that is true only in JNU. I have worked almost for 20 years now. This notion is everywhere How to fight this? How to fight this erasure of caste? It is one thing to fight against a casteist professor who abuses you. That I can fight, somehow I will be able to manage but how to fight this entire erasure of caste done by upper castes? That ‘I am casteless’. That there is no caste. How to make you believe that this is a wrong notion? And this is a very cultivated notion. A lot of investment has been made on this. The entire Indian academia, Indian media and the political class of this country in the last 60 years have invested in this narrative – that there is no caste. It has been a very deliberately constructed narrative. How to fight this?
For example, I will take one very well known Indian sociologist André Béteille. He writes a one thick book on Indian higher education. It doesn’t talk much about caste or anything. But he writes at one place that state universities are performing very badly and one of the reasons he gave was the policy of reservations. So this is how you introduce caste! What about my experience of caste? Ok, I agree, maybe reservations are too bad and they are lowering your efficiency and merit. Ok, I agree. We will have debate on it later on. But what about our experiences in these institutions? If i start talking about Lucknow University, how it was in the 80s and 90s when my elder brothers were studying there, you won’t even believe me today. You will say that again I am lying. None of the Dalit students could enter into the University hostels. Their names used to be there in the hostel list, they were allotted but the upper caste students never allowed them to reside. My brothers studied in the university, for post-graduation. Their names were there on the hostel list, but they could not enter into the hostels because the entire hostel used to be occupied by the upper caste students, and then there were all kinds of criminals living there in university spaces, in state universities. I am talking about North India, UP and Bihar in particular. There was a time when every second day there was an act of violence in university campuses. The police, used to be there in the campus round the year. This was the kind of environment I am talking about. But what happened, the moment Mandal Commission comes in 90s, more OBC and SC students enter into these places, these places become more peaceful, now you don’t hear about such violence. So what I am trying to say is that these were not only upper caste spaces, they were also much criminalized spaces and violence was used to try not to let Dalit and other lower case students to enter into these spaces.
Just imagine, my hometown is 150 km from Lucknow and my brother gets admission into the Lucknow University. He doesn’t get a hostel. Hostel is allotted in his name because you have reservations, so you have to show that 22% or 15% of the seats are reserved for the Dalit students. But you won’t find a single Dalit student there because they will not let you occupy it. And everybody knows about it. It is not something that is much hidden. It’s open. I was a kid back then; I am talking about my brother’s experience. There were some 13-14 hostels there. One hostel was for thakur students. One hostel for brahmin students, one hostel was for brahmins from east UP and one for brahmins from West UP. So this is how the hostels were identified. Not by their names but by the caste names of the group of students who occupied these. So they won’t allow any other students to come. And mind you these are university hostels, not some private hostels. So everybody knew that. Suppose you have an Eastern UP thakur student, straightway he will go to the Eastern UP thakur hostel. He knows that he will get a room even if he is not allotted a room. He will be accommodated there. André Béteille never wrote about this. He is not talking about these experiences. I am just talking about one state university. Imagine others too. And you Prof Béteille, you are blaming us for lowering the efficiency of these universities!
Same thing Ramchandra Guha does, in 2008 I guess, where he talks about the ‘decline’ of Mysore University. In his article, Guha mentions about a news item published in the local newspaper about a vacancy for the position of Vice Chancellor of Mysore University. This news item, according to Guha, lists the name of three professors who were being considered for the position. The newspaper also mentioned that out of them two were OBCs and one SC professor. So Ramchandra Guha writes a very angry article based on that news item. He writes – Mysore University used to be one of the best universities, but now the VCs are chosen on the basis of caste. He then denigrates all these three professors and says that caste has ruined Mysore University. I wrote a rejoinder and asked that who told you that these three people might not be well qualified and were being considered for the post solely on the based on their caste backgrounds. This news item that Guha referred, just mentioned their caste backgrounds and with that one line that they are from OBC and SC background, you wrote a whole article blaming OBCs/SCs for the ‘downfall of the Mysore University’! You didn’t even bother with what their qualifications were!
See all these VC posts are political posts. Your own TISS Director didn’t come here without political backing. So please don’t believe that all these posts are chosen merely on merit. These are all political posts. Every state university VC we see is a political appointee. And you are feigning ignorance on that and just because one line that one stupid newspaper wrote on the professors’ caste background, you wrote a whole article on how caste is ruining Mysore University. My question was very simple, when you talk that a decline has happened, it means that there was also some golden period of that university. So if you are saying now there is decline in the university, what was that golden period then? The golden period was the British period. He himself states that in his piece. He says that at a time when universities in Britain were aristocratic, universities in India were so egalitarian. Which Indian universities he is talking about? All universities that were established by the British! He says that these universities were egalitarian then. My question is how many Dalit graduates did these egalitarian universities produce before independence? How can you call them egalitarian universities? Because you have to blame lower caste for something so you have to create a narrative that there was something good back then.
So this is how the upper caste scholars have produced knowledge. This is how they have blamed that caste is problem only when it comes to reservation or caste is just about ‘lower’ castes. It is no surprise that our students get discriminated then. It is no surprise that upper castes hate our students. Because this is how knowledge has been produced in this country. André Béteille says that it is reservation that is ruining higher education; Ramchandra Guha takes one example and blames the entire decline of Mysore University on lower castes, forgetting everything about how these posts happen. Even for the post of a peon, in North India, caste and even gotras are checked. For example, those who are from Bihar, those who are from Patna, correct me if I am wrong, every university department is known there as particular caste department. If the HOD happens to be a bhumihar, all the appointments there will be from bhumihar caste. If the HOD happens to be a maithil-brahmin, only maithil-brahmin will be taken in – from peon to PhD students. Nobody talks about that. Guha never wrote about that. André Béteille never writes about it. It is the upper castes who have built this whole environment, you have created it but then when it fails, you blame us. Certainly a caste-society cannot produce merit. An inegalitarian society cannot produce knowledge; an inegalitarian society cannot produce merit. India is a perfect example of that. That is why you do not see any quality research happening in Indian universities. And they blame us for that! The JNU sociologists have even come up with this theory that the ‘gates of academia has been left wide open’. This means a lot of unwanted people are entering. They are not able to say openly who these unwanted people are but everybody knows.
This is the whole discourse and so in the background of this discourse, if non-Dalit students are discriminating against Dalit students, I am not surprised. They definitely have a ground to hate us. And the ground has been created by these people like Guha, Béteille who never talked about our experience, who never talked about how state universities actually were before 1980, before 1990, before Mandal Commission happened but they are now ever ready to blame us for everything wrong in these universities.
Please read the next part of the article here.
Anoop Kumar is a teacher; his email id is: anoopkheri(at)gmail(dot)com
Valliammal Karunakaran is a biochemist and anti-caste activist in the United States.