Archive for the ‘Dalits’ Category

rohithThe Joint Action Committee for Social Justice had requested the Indian Peoples Tribunal to send a fact finding team to investigate into the death of Rohith Vemula on 17th January 2016 on the Campus of the University of Hyderabad. A team of Justice (Retd) Suresh H; Sujata Surepalli, Editor Desi Disa; US Rao, Chairman, CBC Federation; Meena Menon, writer-researcher; and senior Advocate Gayatri Singh visited the University of Hyderabad on 25th and 26th of January 2015 and met with students, faculty, friends and family of Rohith Vemula and some of the administration authorities who were available. Preliminary observations of the fact-finding team: (more…)

Rohith-VelumaText of the All-India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) statement on the death of Rahith Vemula, the Dalit scholar of the University of Hyderabad who committed suicide under political pressure: 

“I always wanted to be a writer. A writer of science, like Carl Sagan. At last, this is the only letter I am getting to write. I loved Science. Stars, Nature, but then I loved people without knowing that people have long since divorced from nature. Our feelings are second handed. Our love is constructed. Our beliefs colored. . . . The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote. To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind.” – Rohith Vemula’s last letter to the ‘ASA family’ before his suicide at the University of Hyderabad’s campus on 17th January 2016. (more…)

Screen shot 2016-01-18 at 10.23.52 AMBy Prasad Chacko*

No words can express the rage and pain that we all feel at the shocking forced suicide of a young Dalit scholar (doing his Ph.D in Science and Technology) from the University of Hyderabad (UoH), Rohith Vemula. Rohith and his comrades were activists of the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) and have been leading the intellectual and activist responses to contemporary issues. It is interesting to note that Rohit and ASA were in the forefront of organizing events that exposed Hindutva politics such as the filming of “Muzzaffarnagar Baki Hai” and opposing the manner in which Yakub Memon was hanged without permitting him to exhaust all possible legal recourse. (more…)

Social_Boycott_without_inquiryBy Agnes Amala*

While Indians take pride in calming that the Art (15) of our constitution provides for “Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of Birth” yet there is very little evidence of its application across the higher education sector.

In fact, five research scholars at University of Hyderabad (UoH), belonging to the Dalit community, were dumbstruck by the decision of the university to restrict their entry into hostels, administration building and other common places in groups and denial of permission to participate in students’ union elections. This was the unjust administrative response to the incidents related to Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) Vs Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on 3rd August 2015. The decision was an outcome of political pressure exerted by BJP Union Minister for Labour, Bandaru Dattatreya and BJP MLC Ramachandra Rao. (more…)

ambedkar1Reproduced below is an article published in a human rights e-journal,, on the reason behind the decision of Babasaheb Ambedkar to come up with a programme on burning Manusmruti, the well-known ancient Indian treatise, which had sought to give legal basis to the caste system:

Eight-eight years ago, on December 25, 1927, huge strides were made in the movement for self-dignity of Dalits. Under the leadership of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, a small town/village, Mahad in Konkan, the coastal region of Maharashtra, made history.

Manusmurti Dahan Din. The day that the text of caste Hindus epitomizing hegemony, indignity and cruelty to Dalits and mlecchas (that included women) was publicly burned in a specially constructed symbolic funeral pyre before Dr Ambedkar and thousands of volunteers gathered to protest and agitate.  (more…)

dalit womenBy Dr VA Ramesh Nathan* and PS Krishnan**

Dalits and Adivasis communities, leaders and activists have been waiting with bated breath for the long-delayed Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014 to be passed by the Parliament and come into force. On August 4th 2015, in a significant and historic moment in the Parliament, Hon’ble Minister Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment introduced the Bill for discussion in the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha subsequently passed the Bill at 18:47 (IST) in the on-going Monsoon session (2015) of the Parliament. The SCs and STs Community welcomes this historic move.

Further, the National Coalition for Strengthening of SCs & STs Prevention of Atrocities comprising of 500 Dalit and Adivasi organisations from across the country looks upon the NDA Government with great expectation and hope to move the Bill in Rajya Sabha for consideration and passing, ensuring that the Act is passed in the on-going session of the Parliament. (more…)

casteText of the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) statement on the 50th Anniversary of the International Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (November 26, 2015)

Today, we join you in celebrating 50 years since the momentous occasion where the International Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination was adopted. Set against the backdrop of the international struggle against Apartheid, the convention marked an important international agreement that all forms of racial discrimination must be fought with a joint resolve and broad solidarity. (more…)