University of Hyderabad is well-known for the Dalit Students’ activism, especially due to the strong presence of Mala and Madiga students of Andhra Pradesh and their activism through their respective platforms – Dr B R Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) and Dalit Students’ Union (DSU) since 1993 and 1996 respectively. In a way by taking inspiration from these two ASA and DSU, Backward Classes/Castes too attempted to be successful, and in this direction ‘OBC Students’ Association’ took shape, during late 1990’s or early 2000’s. But, this ‘OBC Students’ Association’ failed to unite most of the OBC students.

The following picture depicts the OBC Students’ Activism at University of Hyderabad.

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The present picture pertains to the activism of ‘OBC Students’ Association’, which is depicting that they were inclined towards Dalit-Bahujan perspective.

(When I was actively associated with the Dalit Students’ Union (DSU), University of Hyderabad, I was in procession of some of the most relevant archives. The present picture pertains to the archives preserved by the DSU over the years. So, I duly acknowledge that the present picture was able to be retrieved due to DSU).

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This picture depicts the BSF activism from anti Brahman perspective; which is also inclined towards Dalit-Bahujan/Phule-Ambedkar perspective!!!

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This activism too from Dalit-Bahujan perspective…

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From same Dalit-Bahujan perspective…

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From same Dalit-Bahujan perspective…

(Expect first picture remaining pictures were captured during the starting months of 2011-2012 academic year)

II

There are many reasons for lack of unity among the OBC’s of India, unlike SCs/ST’s (who are united to some considerable satisfactory extent for various reasons). OBCs is a highly heterogeneous class and their intensity of humility and oppression faced from the upper castes/classes differs in degree when compared to the SCs/STs. Moreover, unlike SCs/STs, OBCs are well into the Hindu Religious/cultural fold, etc.

At University of Hyderabad, OBCs heterogeneous nature too was the prime reason for lack of unity, for failing to be grouped under one platform like the present ‘OBC Students’ Association’. Though, OBCs were not grouped under one platform like SCS/STs (these two sections are grouped together to some extent for their rights cause, though they are heterogeneous in nature), they (OBCs) were spread over many student organisations, like left/right/centre/dalit-bahujan, etc. The intensity of SCs/STs presence in this way into other non dalit/tribal-bahujan student organisations is very less at University of Hyderabad.

Though OBCs were not united under one platform like the present ‘OBC Students’ Association’, they were spread well into various other student organisations, especially right oriented student organisation/s.

Presently, as per most of the critical observers – OBCs are well into the fold of Right oriented Akhil Bharatiya Vidarthi Parishad (ABVP). Though, AVBP is not active when compared to the most of the other student organisations, due to various factors, like lack of proper leadership, etc; ABVP had been able to bag significant vote share and win some posts in the annual Students’ Union elections, which is a regular ritual at University of Hyderabad. This success of ABVP during Students’ Union elections is seen primarily due to the unity of OBCs and upper castes/classes at University of Hyderabad, especially in opposition to the Dalit-Bahujan presence & assertion and equally in opposition to the activism of left oriented Students’ Federation of India (SFI). One of the interesting observations is; some of the significant leadership and cadre to other student organisations like SFI also hails from OBC section!! Thus, indicating OBCs are well into various student organisations with differing degrees of ideological contestations, and fighting among themselves on ideological grounds!!!

III

Since, 2006-2007 Bahujan Students’ Front (BSF) started to emerge on the University of Hyderabad campus, with a rhetoric slogan of uniting ‘All India SC/ST/OBC/Religious Minority’ Students’ ; but, this platform seemed to be failed, presently, as their ambition of achieving the unity of ‘SC/ST/OBC/Religious Minorities’, in opposition of Hindu and left fundamentalism failed in reality (also, they failed to attract the cadre from ASA and DSU towards their proposed Unity!!!). Though BSF was initiated by two SC and one OBC student, presently, OBC students, who are inclined towards Phule-Ambedkar ideological perspective, are leading this platform, who are very less numerically. On the whole, it is interesting to observe, whether the present BSF OBC cadre would be able to sustain the spirit of Phule-Ambedkar ideological perspective and sustain the same over the years to come?? Or disappear like the ‘OBC Students’ Association’ in due course of time and be inclined towards (well visibly) under other platforms like ABVP/SFI, etc!!

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