Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani’s comments that dalit faculty members of University of Hyderabad (UoH) were also part of the probe team that decided to expel Rohith Vemula and four other dalit scholars has caused an unprecedented upheaval on the campus.
Several dalit faculty members have now resigned from their ‘administrative roles’ protesting against what they termed was blatant lie by Irani.
Irani on Wednesday had said that at various stages — from Proctoral Committee to Executive Council (EC) to sub-committee of EC — senior dalit professors of the university were involved in the decision to expel the five students.
“The minister is misleading the nation. We will not work under the administration as there has been no representation from the dalits in the executive council since the university’s inception,” Prakash Babu, Dean of Students Welfare and member of SC/ST Teachers and Officers Forum, told Times of India.
As many as 20 SC/ST teachers had decided to quit but they dropped the idea thinking in that case, students will have no support.
It was then decided that teachers will quit from administrative positions, but continue to teach.
“It is only by staying in system that we can build pressure on the administration,” Babu added.
A press statement by UoH SC/ST Teachers and Officers Forum said, “It (sub-committee of executive council) was headed by an upper caste professor Vipin Srivastava and there are no dalit faculty member in the sub-committee.”
Rohith’s suicide has caused huge national controversy with dalit students blaming the local MP and a minister in Narendra Modi’s cabinet, Bandaru Dattatreya and Irani for pushing the dalit scholar to end his life.
Jantakareporter.com on Tuesday had revealed how Irani, through four of her letters to the VC, had pressurised the university administration to act against ‘anti-national’ elements because of their alleged crime of attacking a ABVP leader. ABVP is the student wing of the RSS.