Following Prof V. Krishna’s resignation from the post of Controller of Examination in protest against Appa Rao Podile’s resuming “at work” as Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sreepati Ramadu has resigned from the post of Head of the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy. He mentions in his letter that this resignation is a response to the growing alienation faced by Dalits in University of Hyderabad, the latest being Appa Rao continuing as the Vice-Chancellor even after institutionally murdering Rohith Vemula and more recently, the appointment of Vipin Srivastava as the Pro-Vice Chancellor. These appointments taking place in University especially after the social boycott of the five dalit research scholars and Rohith’s death are a cause of constant humiliation for the Dalits particularly inside University campus.
The resignations given by senior Dalit faculty members exposes the Brahmanical fascist forces and explain the appalling conditions in which University functions these days but however it is a great loss for the University community that Prof. Sreepati Ramudu and Prof. V Krishna have resigned. Prof V. Krishna who resigned as Controller of Examinations, has been heralded for bringing reforms in University admission process which eventually led to increase in admissions in comparison to previous years. Such reforms under Prof V. Krishna’s tenure as Controller of Examination resulted in University of Hyderabad attaining No.1 ranking in social inclusivity. Prof Sreepathi Ramudu as the Head of the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy is known for bringing about structural changes by engaging with University administration, faculty members and research scholars. He has conducted several workshops and seminars on the need for democratization of academic campuses by inviting reputed academic scholars. He led the Centre in turbulent times even when there were attempts by the powers that be to dismantle the Centre that challenges discrimination, oppression and exploitation faced by marginalized sections of the society.
As opposed to both of them who worked tirelessly for the University and in particular for the social emancipation of marginalized sections, Appa Rao Podile-led University has turned the atmosphere in University hostile towards the marginalized section of campus community. In academics, his criminal act of plagiarism is out in the open. No plagiarist is fit to continue as an administrator to an academic institution. However, plagiarist Appa Rao Podile backed by BJP-led Central Government continues to head this academic institution. He continues to divided students, teaching staff, and non-teaching staff to seek his personal benefits at the cost of the University. The open letter by Non-Teaching Staff and the appointments of casteist professors like Prof Vipin Srivastava testify his malicious intent. The Non-Teaching Staff has taken a public stand and stated that Appa Rao Podile is favouring few among non-teaching staff by offering them promotions and personal benefits. Vipin Srivatsava was held to be primarily responsible for the suicide of a Physics Ph.D Scholar, Senthil Kumar, a first generation research scholar from Panniandi community. He also headed the Sub-Committee of Executive Council, the official body that acted in a high handed manner by upholding the inconsistent recommendation of proctorial board advising the social boycott of Rohith Vemula and the other four Dalit research scholars. Professor Appa Rao Podile, a plagiarist, a prime accused in abetment of Rohith Vemula’s death, an accused under SC/ST PoA Act, a divisive administrator and a political appointee of BJP heads University of Hyderabad and is further damaging the reputation of the University.
Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UoH) condemns, in the strongest possible words, the appointment of Vipin Srivastava as the Pro-Vice Chancellor of University of Hyderabad. Post 22nd March, when Appa Rao Podile sneaked inside University of Hyderabad with the help of “like-minded” student members of ABVP, professors and massive police forces to capture the Vice Chancellor’s post, Vipin Srivastava was appointed as the “official” media spokesperson by the institutional murderer of Rohith Vemula, Appa Rao Podile. We want to remind everyone and reiterate that this “official” media spokesperson and now appointed as Pro-Vice Chancellor Vipin Srivastava was appointed as interim Vice Chancellor after Appa Rao Podile fled from campus (post January 17th). We opposed Vipin Srivastava as the interim Vice-Chancellor of University of Hyderabad outrightly because he was the chairperson of the Sub-Committee, Executive Council that took the decision of socially boycotting Rohith Vemula and the other four Dalit research scholars without any inquiry. He is also an institutional murderer of yet another Dalit research scholar Senthil Kumar who was pursuing PhD in Physics in University.
The appointment of Vipin Srivastava should be understood in the current context of Appa Rao Podile’s dictatorial “leadership” that is projected through unrestrained attacks on #JusticeforRohith struggle. Appa Rao Podile and the RSS lobbies that operate in the University administration unapologetically disclose their casteist nature and planned attacks that operate in the form of harassing the students by slapping false police cases on us, forceful eviction of students from hostels and removal of all the posters and photos of Rohith Vemula from the walls with an intent to erase the memories of #JusticeforRohith struggle before new admissions take place this academic year.
The attack on Justice for Rohith struggle continues unabated. In a vitriolic media campaign by Vipin Srivastava, the “official” media spokesperson and now the Pro-Vice Chancellor unapologetically declared that “We have removed the tents with the help of security staff”. He further stated, “It may be recalled that in a meeting between the Deans of Schools in March, it was recommended to remove ‘unauthorised structures’ from the Shopcom area”. Vipin Srivastava also stated, “The notice was issued saying that the tents have to be removed. A proper procedure has to be followed if they want to erect tents and protest. They need permissions via proper channel.” These statements reveal the hypocrisy and the malicious intent of the University of Hyderabad administration in dealing with the struggling students. University of Hyderabad, to begin with, did not follow institutional procedures and took an atrocious decision of social boycott against the Dalit research scholars without any inquiry. What “procedures” are they referring to when students are agitated and protesting against the very violation of institutional procedures of University? Is allowing BJP ministers like Bandaru Dattatreya, Smriti Irani and MLC Ramchander Rao to interfere and influence the decision of social boycott, the kind of “proper channel” that Vipin Srivastava is trying to suggest?
On what basis are they declaring that the site of our democratic struggle as “unauthorized” when University of Hyderabad, a “secular” academic institution authorizes structures like Shiva Lingam and Nandi at the entrance of University of Hyderabad and a Brahmin Well in Faculty Quarters inside the academic institution? It is not surprising that an illegitimate and unauthorized “Vice-Chancellor” uses his mouth pieces to declare the struggle for annihilate of caste as unauthorized. It is the same Vipin Srivastava who went to the extent of blaming media by stating, “Unfortunately, media is also biased against the university and has been reporting only one side of the story”. Firstly, shame on Appa Rao Podile-led University administration for not allowing media inside campus even till today. The Press Council of India had earlier condemned this blockade imposed on media in a public institution. However, Appa Rao Podile and his stooge Vipin Srivastava alleges that media is reporting “against” Appa Rao Podile-led University administration.
It is in fact not surprising that Vipin Srivastava has been appointed by Appa Rao Podile-led University administration. Like we said earlier and it still holds true today under the dictatorship of Appa Rao Podile that University of Hyderabad administration continues to promote professors and officials to higher positions of power who endorse/expertise in killing/targeting students from marginalized sections of the society.
Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UoH) salutes Prof.SreepatiRamudu and Prof. V. Krishna for taking a public stand against Appa Rao Podile and his stooges. The student community that rejected Appa Rao Podile as the Vice Chancellor in University General Body Meeting held on 12th April, 2016 demands the immediate sacking of Vipin Srivastava from the post of Pro-Vice Chancellor.