Dalit Teacher's Protest Against Alleged Casteism at DU Takes Controversial Turn

Delhi University’s dismissed teacher Ritu Singh’s protest has been receiving casteist treatment from the authorities, from the site being cleaned with Gangajal to the positioning of a banner with a picture of Lord Ram. The university gates have also been locked, barring Singh’s entry inside the campus.
Ritu Singh at her protest near Gate no. 4 of Arts Faculty, University of Delhi
Ritu Singh at her protest near Gate no. 4 of Arts Faculty, University of DelhiPic- Dr. Ritu Singh

New Delhi- Dr. Ritu Singh's ongoing protest against alleged casteism, particularly targeting Principal Savita Roy of Daulat Ram College, has taken a concerning turn as Delhi University authorities respond with controversial measures. The protest, which gained momentum amid recent violence and vandalism, now confronts new challenges, including the locking of university gates and the purification of the protest site with Gangajal, raising questions about the motives behind these actions.

The recent actions, such as the placement of a banner featuring a picture of Lord Ram and the use of cow urine for cleansing, add a contentious layer to the ongoing protest.

According to the teacher, she has been facing constant pushback from the authorities and humiliation directly linked to her identity. The authorities have put a lock on the university gates to prevent her from entering the campus and have been cleaning the protest site, leading us to question the motives behind these acts.

In the midst of loud sloganeering, Ritu Singh drew attention to a new lock that has been placed on the gate of Delhi University. Showing it to the camera in a social media post on January 14th, the teacher said, “This lock was not here before. They have put it up after observing our protest. According to them, we are not allowed inside the university. My partners who are studying at the university are not allowed to study. Give it a thought! It is our university, a public space.”

Ritu Singh added, “To break these locks, there is a need for us to come together. Within the next few days, we will show the authorities our strength through our sheer numbers and prove that it is not a space for oppressors. These people question the reservation system, and when they do, ask them who have been enjoying reservations for the last 3000 years. That reservation is called Vedic reservation. Back then, Dalits and Adivasis had no right to study. Only the 3% upper caste people were enjoying all the resources.”

The university gates have been allegedly locked to prevent Dr Ritu SIngh's entry inside the campus.
The university gates have been allegedly locked to prevent Dr Ritu SIngh's entry inside the campus.Pic- Ashutosh Boddh

The teacher further appealed to everyone present at the site by saying, “Why did they hike the fees? So that only one group of people with social capital and a strong financial background get to study. We have always been oppressed. You need to realize that it is not only my house that is burning, but the whole forest is on fire. Today, it is my home. Tomorrow, it might be yours. It is for you to understand that the lock needs to be broken so that your children can enter the university with their heads held high.”

This is not an isolated situation. The university authorities allegedly have been demeaning the dismissed teacher. On January 13th, Ritu Singh took to X (formerly Twitter) to upload a video where she claims the protest site has been washed with cow urine to purify the space. She said, “Authorities have purified the site with gau mutra and Gangajal, then installed a banner of Ram ji after shudhi. Are we untouchables? For the last three days, they have been doing this. They cleaned the entire area with water just before we came to the site and will do the same after we leave. They have removed the life-sized banner we had put up of Babasaheb. We will file a complaint under the SC/ST atrocities act against each and every one of them.”

She continued, “The university’s Vice Chancellor is the biggest RSS advocate on the campus, and it is only their command that is ensuring all of the casteist activities that have been taking place on the campus.”

Mehmood Pracha, Supreme Court advocate, added to the post, “How will a space become impure if Dr. Ritu sits down? Our banners were removed by them because they still consider us and Babasaheb as untouchables.”

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