Exactly a year back, Rohith Vemula, our beloved brother, a dedicated Ambedkarite activist, a lover of nature, an aspiring scientist and above all an embodiment of resistance against Hindutva academic terror and casteist educational spaces, left us and departed his soul from the body moving into the world of stars, moons, suns, galaxies – the spaces of infinitude- from the world of [in] human beings where he was subjected to institutional social boycott. His suicide which was an act of self-defiance against the Podile Appa Rao-Smriti Irani brahmanical onslaught on the five suspended Dalit research scholars (including him) triggered off a protest flaring up students in rage across campuses and demanding the justice for Rohith. When Rohith was alive, he himself was an unshakable voice against the caste discrimination and RSS-backed BJP fascism. When he is not around us, he has become the voice of the oppressed communities. Rohith is now a movement of the oppressed by the oppressed and for the oppressed for social justice and equality and a relentless struggle to democratize the society and spaces.
To commemorate Rohith and the cause he stood for students in universities and colleges observed 17th January as Rohith Shahdath Din. Several student organizations Like AISA, AISF, AIYF, MSF, BASO, BAPSA, SIO, YFDA, ASA, SFI, MSYF and others organized protest demonstrations and public gatherings to remember Rohith and demanded the enactment of Rohith Act. SIO gave the call to observe 17th January as Campus Resistance Day.
As usual is the fate of students who protest against the casteist academia and fascist state apparatus that they are met with lathicharges and manhandling, many students and activists including Radhika Vemula and Raja Vemula were detained by the Telangana Police. Later when released, Radhika Vemula was not allowed to re-enter the UoH gate to see and garland the Rohith Stupa. Several SIO cadres of Telangana zone were also detained and later released.
In Delhi, the activists of Insaf March, including JSUSU president Mohit Pandey were beaten up and dragged. Journalists from inuth were also beaten up for covering the protest demonstrations and their equipments were broken by the Delhi police.
Below are some photos of Rohith Shahadath Din organised at different places across the country. These photos speak volumes of the flames that #JusticeForRohith movement has ignited to topple down the casteist administration and seek to uproot institutionalised discrimination of any sort.
As Nahas Mala, newly elected national president of SIO says ” Rohith himself was a mission leading all of us with a vision. Not just a person to be remembered he is a reminder”.
The HCU VC Appa Rao Podile who is accused under the SC/ST Atrocities Act, must be sacked. He is using all barbaric tactics to put out the movement.
But Appa Rao, you cant kill our voices of resistances, our spirits of struggle and our love for Rohith Vemula. From #JusticeForRohith to #JusticeForNajeeb, we will keep confronting you and your ilks, and stand firm and resolute to face your barbarism. Each day will be a campus resistance day to smash the faces of injustices. This will go on till the dawn of a new morning when no Rohith will be seen hanging and no Najeeb missing.
(All images have been collected from facebook pages)