Renowned writer Ashok Vajpeyi on Tuesday announced he would return D.Litt he received from Hyderabad University in protest against the “anti-dalit” attitude of authorities which allegedly drove the Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula to commit suicide.
“A dalit student, Rohith Vemula, who wanted to be a writer was driven to commit suicide due to anti-dalit and intolerance of dissent shown. I have decided to return the award in protest against university authorities, (who were) presumably acting under political pressure,” Vajpeyi was quoted by PTI.
Vajpeyi was awarded D.Litt (Doctor of Letters, honoris causa) by the Central University of Hyderabad few years ago. He said the institution had “acted against human dignity and knowledge.”
Vemula had committed suicide on Sunday after the university administration allegedly under pressure from the Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani expelled him and four other research scholars in August last year.
They were barred from entering the university premises including the hostel and the library.
Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, Hyderabad University Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and three others were booked for abetment of suicide on Monday.
Vajpeyi was also one of the first intellectuals to have returned Sahitya Akademi award in the issue of growing religious intolerance in India under Narendra Modi government.