Rohith Vemula in his own words
Tag: Dalit Uprising
The presidential candidate for BAPSA – Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association – Rahul Sonpimple in the presidential debate on September 7. Without mincing words, Sonpimple exposed the so-called Left unity being bandied about in the shape of the AISA and SFI alliance.
Come Wednesday night, Jawaharlal Nehru University in the country’s capital will witness another session of the much awaited presidential debates. If the analyses and estimations from last year’s elections – which said that Kanhaiya Kumar’s speech swept all the floating votes toward his favour – are anything to go by, the night of the debate indeed is not a mere spectacle of wit, oratory and rhetoric, but also serious electioneering. But, this year’s elections look riveting and engrossing for another reason—the clear emergence of the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) as a force that has been systematically sussing out and exposing the casteism practiced by the Indian Left, particularly the parliamentary Left parties. With its call for the unity of the bahujan on a platform of ‘shared reality of different oppressions’, BAPSA is hoping to scrape together all such votes that have not been represented and respected by the erstwhile Unions.
“Though the University is claimed as a “modern” institution which professes all such values that can be the markers of “modernity”, namely; liberty, equality, fraternity and rationality etc., this claim can only be made on the perils of overlooking a large set of questions that emanate from the kind of social reality we live in…
Rohith Vemula wanted to express the lived reality of being a student in the school of Life Sciences and the discrimination he faced in the laboratory, through an academic paper. He had sent an Abstract to the annual sociology conference to be held in the university. The Abstract was titled “Discovering Caste Prejudices in Science Laboratories: Unheard Narratives”
Having accustomed to lecturing the Dalit movements of all stripes to focus on ‘real’ issues like economic resources, the Hindu Left will now have to decide what to do with a mass mobilisation that demands land as much as dignified employment, two revolutionary demands, in the same breath.
Relatively well-off sections among the urban educated Dalits, who are used to the easy method of invoking the pain of others (manual scavenging and other degrading forms of obligatory work, caste atrocities, especially in the enclaves where being a Dalit is as much an advantage as a drawback, with their greedy and narrow dream of keeping away the other victims of Hindutva such as Muslims and Christians, and other opponents of Hindutva such as Leftists and Tribals, will now have to decide for themselves if they are ready to throw in their lot with fighting Gujarati Dalits and their leftist and Muslim supporters.