Cowardice Ideological Conflict

Cowardice Ideological Conflict

                                                             –  Santhi Swaroop Sirapangi

On Saturday 23 July, 2011 Dr B R Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA), University of Hyderabad President Mr Dara Suman called me over mobile phone at around 07:50 am and informed that the cut-outs made of flex material were set fire by un-identified miscreants, at his Men’s Hostel – E (Annex), in front of his room. He informed this to me as a fellow Dalit organisation leader, i.e. Dalit Students’ Union (DSU). Immediately, I went and observed the situation, along the entire gathered and gathering crowd. The incident took place in the second floor of the Hostel.

These flexi cut-outs were made for the Dr B R Ambedkar Birth Celebrations in April, 2011. The cut-outs were around fifteen to sixteen in number. After the April, 2011 Birth Day Celebrations of Ambedkar, which was celebrated at DST Auditorium on the Campus, these cut-outs were preserved on the second floor of the Hostel, in front of ASA Presidents room, for re-use on any other required occasion.  As per the information given by the ASA President, other leaders and cadre, these flex cut-outs carried the images of Dalit Bahujan icons like Dr B R Ambedkar, Sahu Maharaj, Jyothirao Phule, Savitri Bai Phule, Kanshi Ram, etc.

These flex cut-outs were lying down there for the past three months. As a result, it is most probable; everyone is able to see them daily. Cut-outs were kept aside without any disturbance to the general Hostel boarders, in the corridor on the second floor, beside a way leading to toilets and bathrooms, in a wing.

Mr Suman observed the ashes of the flex cut-outs at around 04:30 am. By this time, they got reduce to the floor, in ashes. It was quite surprising to the entire observers, how can no hostel boarders was unable to observe when the fire was continuing, and supposedly made toxicant smell, for a quite sustainable duration, though they could be in deep sleep? It was also believed that the cut-outs should have been lit intentionally, by a group of people too, most possibly, around the areas on the floor, who regularly observe these cut-outs. ASA President Suman maintained that he had faced some unfavourable situations in the Hostel wing, personally, as he was observed as the President of a prominent Dalit Association on the University campus. Basing on such unfavourable situations he was able to have some suspicion on a few individuals.

All the top University officials arrived to the spot by the time, I reached the spot. As the University enjoys holiday on Saturday, all the top officials were out-of campus/were on leave, including the Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Dean Students’ Welfare (DSW), Chief Warden, etc. As a result, all the in-charge persons of these categories appeared on the scene and tried their level best to genuinely complete required legal formalities. University security was altered on a high scale, who in-turn altered the top city police officials, as per the orders of the University officials, like In-charge Vice Chancellor K D Sen, In-charge Registrar Venkateswara Rao, etc. University Chief Proctor R Tandon was also present.

It was highly suspected, the culprits could be the ones, who would be anti-reservationists/Hindutva forces. The first suspect class (anti-reservationists) was highly taken into consideration, for the present situation. On 22 July, 2011, University released the entrance examination results for M. Phil, Ph. D and Integrated Master’s courses, etc, which are based on interviews and written examination. In these results, reserved class sections like SC/ST/OBC/PH group students are able to secure admission in the open group, show-casing their merit!! The open group students’, who couldn’t able to get admission, on account of identified-reserved category on the open category, must have resorted to the present heinous crime.

Apart from the above suspicion, other possible grounds of suspicious options could be:

  • As the University is starting for the 2011-2012 academic session, after summer vacation, in a normal mode, the anti reservationist/anti-ambedkarites/anti-subaltern/Hindutva forces must have resorted to this act, to perpetuate their hold in the days, among the fresher students, who enter the University, by dividing the student community, on their expected lines, like lower castes versus upper caste/reserved group versus open group, etc.
  • In order to gain mileage in the University Students’ Union elections, the   anti reservationists/anti ambedkarites/anti-subaltern/Hindutva forces must have resorted to this act, in-order to gain the support base of the other section/s, for their sustenance, etc.

All the major student organisations on the Campus, like Bahujan Students’ Front (BSF), Dalit Students’ Union (DSU), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Telangana Students’ Association (TSA), etc condemned this brutal, cowardice incident and staged a protest demonstration on the Campus, covering major hostels, and brunt the effigy of Manu, on the main road, in front of University main gate.

Basing on the complaint lodged by the University administration, city police are investigating the case, to nab the culprits at the earliest.