Hyderabad (Telangana): The central government owned University of Hyderabad (UoH) in the city was on the boil on Sunday after the desecration of portraits of Dalit Indian Icons like Dr B.R. Ambedkar, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, Savitribai Phule, Gurram Jashuva, Ramabai Ambedkar, Periyar EV Ramaswamy, Komaram Bheem, Chhatrapati Sahu Maharaj, Kanshiram. and Ayyankali.
The incident has led to flash agitation on the campus on Sunday by the representatives of Ambedkar Students Association (ASA). They staged protest program on campus and raised slogans against the university authorities.
According to these activists, the portraits of the Dalit leaders were removed from a place called Velivada, which is a hub for holding agitation on the campus They said that the velivada has also been a place where Five Dalit Research Scholars including Rohith Vemula took shelter under the shade of these reverend. “The Dalit icons are figures whom Dalits across the nation revere and respect as they made a significant improvement in the life of Dalits and the marginalised. This act of the administration is nothing less than causing insult, humiliation, disrespect and disregard to Dr Ambedkar, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, Savitribai Phule, Gurram Jashuva, Maa RamabaiAmbedkar, Periyar EV Ramaswamy, Koamaram Bheem, Chhatrapathi Sahu Maharaj, Kanshiram and Ayyankali.
These actions are promoted by the BJP-led centre who had institutionally murdered our scholar Rohith Vemula and Socially Boycotted 5 Dalit Research scholars for reading and propagating Ambedkar. Ever since death of Rohit Vemula, the university under the direction of the BJP is erasing the portraits of Dr BR Ambedkar,” Shahal B, a leader of the Association told this correspondent.
He alleged that the Vice Chancellor of the university Podile Appa Rao, who is an accused under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, was behind the brutal act. He demanded stern action against the VC for resorting to polarising acts on the campus. “Under section 3(t) of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, it is clearly mentioned that one who “destroys, damages or defiles any object generally known to be held sacred or in high esteem by members of the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes. We therefore demand intitiation of criminal cases agianst the VC,” another leader of the association Dontha Prashanth said, The ASA has given a call for protest and held effigy burning program at the same site condemning the action of the university authorities.
The university authorities however claimed that they issued notice to the Dalit activists before removing the portraits.
What is Velivada?
Velivada is a word in Telugu that means Dalit Ghetto. It is a place on Hyderabad University where Dalits sit and protest. Rohit Vemula and his friends had sat here for their demands from the University and Central University. He later committed suicide.