The movement in Una gives us a spectacle through which we see a clear failure of this government on the question of social justice and emancipation. With the passing of each day the cruelty against the dalits is growing. The fellowships of the students were scraped, regulatory and farcical guidelines were issued to curb the autonomy of the universities and students. At this moment when the students and dalits are rising in rage against the vicious circle of atrocities, surveillance stigmatization and reinforcement of the brahminical oppressive values. We must dwell into the question of what are the provoking instances and policies that have filled the student community and the dalits with so much outrage and exasperation. The longstanding fight of FTII students against arbitrary appointment gained massive support. The protests in HCU against the institutional murder of Dalit and left activist Rohit vemula was one of the landmark movements in struggles of students against the autocratic fascist institutions. JNU was the next natural target of this government. Sedition charges were filed against students for sloganeering inside the campus. Now it becomes an intruding question why the targeting of these university spaces plainly because they have a legacy of questioning, dissenting,putting forth their own point of view and standing in solidarity with the struggles of most deprived and marginalized sections of the society and this is seen as a threat to this ruling party and its fascist agendas to control each and every aspect of the polity economy society and culture. Simultaneously we can see there was an increase in atrocities against dalits, the very ideology of the ruling party legitimizes the hierarchical structure and discrimination on the basis of caste.
#ChaloUna Rohith Vemula’s mother, Radhika Vemula and brother Raja Vemula along with Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UoH) on their way to Una for the 15Aug protest (Azaad Kooch). In solidarity with Dalits in Una, Rajula, Amalapuram and Dalit warriors across the country, students of #JusticeforRohith struggle will take out a rally in Rohith’s University (HCU) on 15th August, the same day at 5:30 pm starting from Velivada.
It is ironical that this very ruling party before elections laid claims for the enhancement of opportunities for students, to make education accessible to each section of society, to empower the student community and what not. But what we see is a an attempt to saffronise the university and educational spaces and narrowing the freedom and opportunities of students . Secondly false claims were also made in loud voices to provide an empowered and dignified life and employment to dalits and end caste based discrimination, but what we see on the contrary is traumatic beating of dalits by the bloodthirsty inhumane gaurakshaks. In the present times there is a sheer lack of will on the part of this government to fulfill any of its claims. This failure along with institutional dominance and atrocities with huge attempts to privatize and communalise the education and hierarchies the society have lead to resentment in the student and dalit community against the ruling party and its brahminical norms. The movement in una started with the beating of 2 youngsters by the gausrakshaks, the dalits as a protest across the country are taking pledge not to clean the carcasses of the dead cow and leave it to be cleaned by the self proclaimed upper caste “sons” of the gaumata and their fight have gained massive support from student community , civil rights groups and progressive sections of the society. The gaurakshaks have been carrying out this cruelty against dalits in the name of gauraksha at a massive level. These non institutional groups are mostly backed by the institutional power of the ruling party this is precisely the reason that they have been able to openly beat people and get away with it. These gau raksha dals are being used by the brahminical ruling party to keep the dalits terrorized and to keep suppressing them through brutal ways. Dalits are one of the culturally most stigmatized and economically most vulnerable group in India, the need have always been to make their lives more dignified in terms of recognition and redistribution but what we don’t see any attempts by this ruling party to guarantee better lives to dalits and the marginalized.
We also see is a huge participation and solidarity of students in the una and alike movements. Students from across the countries and different universities are coming to participate in the struggle of dalits in Una. This makes it explicit that a major section of our youth today, is finding these attacks on dalits extremely dangerous and a hindrance in our imagination of an egalitarian society. The students and dalit movements are going hand in hand showing solidarity to each other for a free, equal , democratic system where a narrow oppressive model of and doctrine is not imposed on people to be accepted forcefully. The time has come where all the progressive sections should come together and fight back against the hindutva fascist forces.
Pradeep Narwal is a JNU student and former Joint Secretary of ABVP on the campus, who left ABVP when JNU campus was under attack earlier this year, expo9sing the casteist character of RSS politics.