Round Table India
Babasaheb Ambedkar ~The more common and the more effective weapons is the declaration of complete boycott against the offending Untouchables. The horrors of the boycott, which is merely another name for Gandhi’s ” noncooperation”, can hardly be adequately described. The Committee appointed by the Government of Bombay to inquire into the grievances of the Backward Classes speaks of the social boycott in the following terms: “Although we have recommended various remedies to secure to the Untouchables their rights to all public utilities we fear that there will be difficulties in the way of their exercising them for a long time to come. The first difficulty is the fear of open violence against them by the orthodox classes. It must be noted that the Untouchables are a small minority in every village, opposed to which is a great majority of the orthodox who are bent on protecting their interests and dignity from any supposed invasion by the Untouchables at any cost. The danger of prosecution by the police has put a limitation upon the use of violence by the orthodox classes and consequently such cases are rare. ~
Is this penal system against the Dalits an archaic mode or does it remain fully functional in current times? Can such social boycotts against Dalits happen within an University? Can university officials be implicated in such acts? Can we expect the Ministry of Human Resources and Development to swiftly act and condemn such acts against students from Dalit communities?
The following articles on Round Table India highlight the sequence of events and the manner in which 5 senior research scholars have been ostracized in exactly the same ways as described by Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Agnes Amala writes “The career threatening decision of suspension has indeed turned to be a body blow for the five victimized research scholars who claim that it is disheartening to see how their voice, freedom and dignity was completely abrogated in a moment by the people who supposedly exist to guide and protect them during their tenure at the university.”
ASA-HCU presents evidence related to events that led to the suspension. “From the entire episode it is clear that, Dalit Research Scholars were victimized on account of political pressure from BJP and right-wing forces prompting these actions of the present Vice-Chancellor, who negated the natural principles of Justice and violated the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, in a rushed attempt to show his allegiance to BJP and ABVP.”
The Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UOH) traces the history of suspension of Dalit scholars in the university to the 2002 case of rustication and also present evidence of the letter by Bandaru Dattatraya to MHRD communicating his anxiety about ASA.
Jhansi Geddam, National Convener, Dalit Sthree Sakthi led a fact finding team and writes, “It is obvious that the University constituted this committee with an apriori decision to take some action or other on the Scheduled Caste students. It is not only strange, but also pertinent that the order prohibiting the scheduled caste students from entering administration building, and other common places on the campus, smacks of untouchability. This order is clearly violation of Article 15 of the Constitution apart from Art.14, 21. As such, such kind of enquiry made with several lapses is highly objectionable and its report is entirely unfounded, without evidence and is against all principles of natural justice.”
Nikhila Henry, journalist with the Hindu tracks a trail of letters from MHRD to UOH officials, “In four letters of enquiry sent over three months beginning September, the Ministry has sought responses from UoH administration on “anti-national activities” on its campus.
Also under MHRD questioning which levels serious allegations that relates to nationalism, is a curious question about an internal squabble among two student groups, which had allegedly led to an “attack on Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), president, N. Susheel Kumar”.”
Should Dalits expect free India to appoint a committee to hear the grievances of these students? This is a blatant demonstration of Brahmanism thriving in Indian institutions in modern times. The articles on RTI and in the mainstream media clearly show evidence that the ABVP, BJP and the MHRD are all active in playing key roles in executing untouchability and social boycott on Dalit students. They are doing this as per the Hindu belief system which retains for itself the right to penalize Dalits at will. Round Table India strongly condemns the social boycott of Dalit students and joins the bahujan and student community at large in demanding the immediate revocation of suspension.