Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 24.01.16


Rohith’s mother says she was born a Dalit – The free press


Dalit youths ‘proud’ of their anti-Modi protest – The hindu


Discrimination going on for long: Kuruvithurai Dalits – The hindu


Dalit outfit office-bearer, wife donate bodies to medical college hospital – The hindu


Two non-Dalit faculty quit admin posts – The times of india


Rohith Vemula’s mother: Don’t want your Rs 8 lakh or Rs 8 crore… Tell me why my son died – The Indian express


The free press

Rohith’s mother says she was born a Dalit



Hyderabad : Amid a row over which caste research scholar Rohith Vemula belonged to, his mother Radhika on Saturday claimed she belongs to the Scheduled Caste but was adopted by a family from Vaddera, a backward class community.


As questions are being raised as to whether Rohith, the research scholar of Hyderabad Central University who committed suicide on January 17, was a Dalit, his mother Vemula Radhika made a clarification.

She told that she was born in a Mala (Scheduled Caste) family but her parents left her with a Vaddera family, where she grew up.

Radhika said that in 1985, she married a man from the Vaddera community and had three children with him.

The couple separated due to some personal problems and she kept all three children with her.

Radhika said she followed all traditions and customs of Mala as she originally belonged to the Scheduled Caste family.

Why has the country not asked the caste of Nirbhaya and why is this question being asked only in case of Rohith?” she asked, referring to the gang rape victim in Delhi.

She made the clarification following a statement by Rohith’s paternal grandmother that they were from the Vaddera community.

Rohith was one of the five Dalit research scholars suspended by the university last year after they allegedly attacked a leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad.

He committed suicide on January 17, sparking public outrage over the injustice meted out Dalit students. As per official records, he belonged to the Scheduled Caste. A case under the SC/ST Atrocities Act was booked against central minister Bandaru Dattatreya, Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and two leaders of the ABVP.

The hindu

Dalit youths ‘proud’ of their anti-Modi protest


Dismissing the charges of a publicity stunt, the two Dalit youths who raised slogans against Narendra Modi at a convocation here on Friday said they were compelled to protest because of the Prime Minister’s silence on the suicide of Hyderabad research scholar Rohith Vemula.

They said they were “proud” of their protest and believed it would help prompt a response from Mr. Modi.

Meanwhile, one of the youths, Ram Karan Nirmal, alleged that the university forced him to vacate the guesthouse accommodation allotted to him before due time. But Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University denied the charge.

“I was evicted from the Siddhartha Boys’ Hostel. My boarding for the night was cancelled though my room was booked for January 21 and 22. We even deposited Rs. 200,” said Nirmal, who was forced to fend for himself in the winter chill.

BBAU proctor Kamal Jaiswal denied his charge and said the student left on his own because his tenure at the guesthouse had expired.

“We have provisions to provide temporary accommodation for students and parents. These persons have completed their degrees and are no longer students of the institution. Once the period of his stay got over, he left the premises,” he said.

However, Nirmal stood by his charge and said his stay was cut short after his protest.

Identifying themselves as “Ambedkarites,” the youths said they had no political affiliation and acted on their own.

The hindu

Discrimination going on for long: Kuruvithurai Dalits


Dalit families in Kuruvithurai near Sholavandan complained to the National Commission of Scheduled Castes (NCSC) team which inspected the village on Saturday that discrimination by caste Hindus was going on for long culminating in the violence last week in which more than 20 Dalit houses were damaged and at least eight injured.

“We are in a way happy that the incident happened now since it has helped in bringing out our hardships to light,” said M. Madurai Veeran, an elderly Dalit man. Only around 450 people belong to Dalit community in Kuruvithurai, which has a total population of more than 3,000.

“The caste Hindus don’t like the fact that we are also coming up in life, taking up jobs and dressing properly,” said A. Sathish Kannan, a youngster who is a tailor.

Refuting the allegations by caste Hindus that a provocative song played by Dalits in loudspeaker during Pongal triggered the incident, Mr. Sathish said that they were playing only movie songs.

“The song they were pointing out apparently had a line saying that “enough being slaves and it is time to retort”. It was not played intentionally. On the contrary, during their (caste Hindus) functions, they play songs glorifying their caste throughout,” he said. The Dalits alleged discrimination in providing of basic amenities and allocation of government schemes to their areas. Many villagers alleged that issues like harassment while travelling in buses, double-tumbler system where plastic cups were used for Dalits in teashops still persisted in the village.

As many Dalits alleged that they were not allowed to buy from the PDS shops located in the caste Hindus dominated area on all days, revenue officials now ordered to open a part-time PDS shop in the Dalit area soon.

The hindu

Dalit outfit office-bearer, wife donate bodies to medical college hospital


Accompanied by his wife, S.K.T. Kanmani Maaveeran of Dalit leader B. John Pandian-led Thamizhaga Makkan Munnetra Kazhagam donated his body to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital on Saturday.

Mr. Kanmani, who has organised more than 10 blood donation camps so far, and his wife Sharmila handed over the documents to K. Sithy Athiya Munavarah, Dean, TVMCH, assuring the hospital authorities of donating their bodies to TVMCH.

“We’re so proud of donating our bodies for research by scholars and for the studies of budding doctors on the birth anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, whose intense struggle against the British and ultimate sacrifice encouraged thousands of youths to join the freedom struggle. Hence we decided to donate our bodies on his birth anniversary,” Mr. Kanmani said adding that donating bodies to government hospitals for research should be included in school curriculum.

The times of india

Two non-Dalit faculty quit admin posts


HYDERABAD: A day after the UoH faculty members and officials belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Teachers’ Association stepped down from their administrative posts, two nonDalit faculty members have followed suit.

Hailing from forward communities, Prof P Anupama from School of Computers and Information Sciences and Prof Soumya D from Centre for Comparative Literature put in their papers on Saturday to express solidarity with the protesting students seeking justice for Rohith.

While Prof Anupama was representing the cash committee (Administration), Study in India Programme (SIP) committee and e-governance empowered committee, Prof Soumya was discharging two administrative functions representing security committee and as member, board of studies, for Urdu.

“I am resigning from the three committees in protest against the insensitive attitude of the administration,” said Prof Anupama in her resignation letter

The Indian express

Rohith Vemula’s mother: Don’t want your Rs 8 lakh or Rs 8 crore… Tell me why my son died


“When a girl named Nirbhaya was brutally raped and killed, did anyone question her caste? Then why is Rohith’s caste under question here?” Radhika Vemula asked this on Saturday amid claims that her son Rohith, whose suicide is being seen as the fallout of caste discrimination, was not a Dalit. The 49-year-old who is divorced from Rohith’s father and raised him and his two siblings working as a tailor also refused the Rs 8 lakh ex-gratia offered by the University of Hyderabad. “We do not need your money. Not Rs 8 lakh, even if you give Rs 8 crore, we do not need it,” Rohith’s sister Neelima said.

Radhika, accompanied by Neelima and son Raja, was on the campus to meet the seven students on the fourth day of their fast at the university’s protest venue. She told them, “You are all like my sons. If you need anything at all, I will help you. I will be here to support you, help you.” Later in the evening, all the seven students were shifted to the university health centre after their condition deteriorated. UoH security officials took police help to shift the students, amidst protests by the Students’ Joint Action Committee. They have been put on IV fluids. Clarifying the caste issue, Radhika said while her husband was an OBC, she herself was from the SC Mala community. “From the age of five, I grew up in a Vaddera family (Vadderas are OBCs), with whom my SC Mala family left me. Since I was raised by a Vaddera family, they married me to a Vaddera man in 1985. After three children, my husband and I divorced and I brought up the kids on my own. Since I am from the Mala community, I brought them up like that. We used to live in a lane in Guntur where, even today, only SC families live. My children are as much Dalit as I am.” A certificate issued by the Revenue Department of Government of Andhra Pradesh, on June 16, 2015, clearly states that Rohith belongs to the Mala community. “My question is why I am being asked all these questions instead of being given the reasons why Rohith was suspended?” Radhika said. “Why is the issue being diverted?”

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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