SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 166 February 2016
Editors: Daya Varma (Montreal) and Vinod Mubayi (New York)

EDITORIAL: HINDUTVA IN THE UNIVERSITY

Vinod Mubayi and Raza Mir

 

On the 17th of January 2016, Rohith Vemula, a PhD student from the University of Hyderabad, committed suicide. The first ten pieces of this bulletin are devoted to examining Rohith’s suicide, but in this editorial, we wish to point out fact that this event shone an uncomfortable light on the shocking casteism that pervades Indian university hostels. Even in places like JNU, Dalit students are routinely subjected to social boycotts in hostels. Read more…

THEY CALL US ANTI-NATIONAL

Anand Patwardhan

 

Their founding fathers came from the most conservative Brahmin castes, with enormous faith in the culture that empowered them. Read more…

SUICIDE OF THE DALIT STUDENT ACTIVIST ROHITH VERMULA

Academics, Scholars and Concerned Citizens

 

The following is a compilation of responses by Academics, Scholars and Concerned Citizens to the suicide of the PhD student of University of Hyderabad in January 2016. Read more…

ROHITH VEMULA, DEATH OF A PHILOSOPHER TO PURIFY HIGHER EDUCATION

Kancha Ilaiah

 

The Dalit student whose suicide has generated political waves was a brilliant man. His letter to Prof Appa Rao, the newly appointed vice-chancellor of the university who was once believed to be anti-Dalit by the government, shows that at the time of his suicide, he was angry, upset and depressed. Read more…

ANCIENT PREJUDICE, MODERN INEQUALITY

Ananya Vajpeyi

 

If Ekalavya’s dismembered digit has haunted the Hindu schoolyard from time immemorial, Rohith Vemula’s tragic suicide lays bare the deep inequality undergirding the modern state and its institutions of higher learning. Read more…

A NEW DALIT IDENTITY

Apoorvanand

 

The RSS has taken upon itself to define who is a pure Dalit and who a nationalist. Read more…

MESSAGE ABOUT ROHITH VEMULA

Susie Tharu

 

Dear Friends

 

Some of you may recall that three years ago there were a spate of students suicides—once again mostly dalits. At that time the AP High Court had passed an order suggesting administrative measures and safeguards in universities. Barring a few desultory and soon abandoned moves to set up counselling centres neither the UGC nor the universities acted on the order. Read more…

END THE SYSTEMIC VIOLENCE AGAINST DALIT SCHOLARS IN INDIA

SANSAD News Release On Rohith Vemula

 

SANSAD mourns the suicide of Dalit PhD student, Rohit Vemula at the University of Hyderabad on January 17 and joins the students, academics, civil society organizations, and politicians across India in condemning the persistent and increasing violence against Dalits in India and the systemic discrimination in its institutes of higher education, of which Rohith’s tragic death is a consequence. Read more…

BEFORE I SPEAK OF THE STARS…

Ravi Sinha

 

Let me speak first of Rohith Chakravarthi Vemula. I never met him. I wish I had, although that would have made me hardly any worthier of speaking about him. Had I met him, I would have come to know that I shared with him a passion for science, nature and stars. I would like to think that he would have found in me, despite my being from another generation, a comrade-in-arms and a fellow campaigner for a better world. Perhaps I would have also recognized a few of the scars left over from a childhood spent in poverty. But, there, the similarities would have ended. Read more…

STATEMENT ON ROHITH VEMULA

Irfan Engineer

 

Dear friends, Hope by now you came to know about the unfortunate incident that took place in the University of Hyderabad.  Read more…

WHO KILLED AT BATHANI TOLA?

Anand Chakravarti

 

Two decades after the massacre, the families of victims wait for justice. Read more…

WHO WILL SPEAK FOR THE HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS?

Pushkar Raj

 

The Bombay high court judgment cancelling Prof. Sai Baba’s bail and initiating contempt proceedings against the writer Arundhati Roy is a major blow to the human rights defenders in the country. Read more…

THE IDEA OF INDIA

Ram Puniyani

 

As we welcome the New Year (2016) with hope and optimism, the events of the year gone by flash to our mind; those events which are going to have influences in the times to come. We saw that the politics of the BJP led NDA government was practically marked by the controlling agenda of Hindu nationalism dictated by RSS. With the statements of the Sadhvis, Sakhis and Yogis the atmosphere of hate towards minorities saw a peak of sorts. Be it the issue of beef eating, love jihad or rational thinking; these elements came down heavily on the values of Indian democracy, principles of Indian Constitution and atmosphere of amity nurtured by Indian ethos for centuries. Read more…

THE RSS IS CONSPIRING TO GAIN A HOLD OF ALL ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS

Sandeep Pandey/Mayak Jain

 

On December 21, Banaras Hindu University convened a board meeting and decided to show the door to Magsaysay award winner and visiting professor Sandeep Pandey, allegedly for his “anti-national activities”. Pandey had been teaching at the Indian Institute of Technology-BHU for two-and-a half years. He sparked a storm in the academic community with his allegation that his political ideology had him a target of the Narendra Modi government. Read more…

BANGLADESH’S ISLAMIST CHALLENGE

The death sentence handed out to two students last week for the murder of a secular blogger in Bangladesh marks the first major verdict in a string of cases related to the killings of writers in the South Asian nation. Read more…

PAKISTAN: TEXTBOOKS AND MILITANCY

Fawad Ali Shah

 

They killed university students this time. Brutally. Who is responsible for this massacre? The elected government or the security establishment? Could the government have taken any steps to prevent this tragedy? Did it fulfill its promises made under the National Action Plan (NAP)? Read more…

COMMUNAL VIOLENCE IN 2015: A GLIMPSE INTO UP, BIHAR AND HARYANA

Neha Dabhade

 

North India has reported highest number of instances of communal violence in the year 2015.  Some news reports went as far as calling the cow belt of India a tinderbox of communal violence. Some characteristics were discerned to have beset the violence all over northern India and particularly in Uttar Pradesh. Read more…

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