Casteist Attacks: Is Delhi University Creating a Hostile Environment for Dalit-Bahujan Students?

During a rally commemorating Jyotiba Phule Jayanti, students honored the icon by hoisting the blue flag of Ambedkar at the Law Faculty in north campus. However, the following day, the flag was found replaced with a saffron one.
Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi - Delhi University once again faces intense public scrutiny, this time due to a series of disturbing casteist attacks on campus and one of its constituent colleges.

During a rally commemorating Jyotiba Phule Jayanti, students hoisted the blue flag of Ambedkar at the Law Faculty in North Campus. However, the next day, they discovered the flag lying in a corner, replaced by a saffron flag.

Upon investigation, CCTV footage revealed that the perpetrators were affiliated with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Priyam Sharma, a union member holding the position of secretary at Law Faculty Centre no. 2, has been identified as the main accused.

The Mooknayak spoke with Hitesh, a member of the Student Federation of India and a student at the Law Faculty. He recounted that a protest was organized on 15th April at North Campus in response to this blatant abuse of power and evident caste discrimination.

Flag thrown at a corner allegedly by ABVP members
Flag thrown at a corner allegedly by ABVP membersHitesh

“Many organizations united to oppose the goons,” disclosed Hitesh.

“We presented a memorandum to the dean of the Law faculty and the proctor of Delhi University, demanding Sharma's resignation from his student union post and disciplinary measures.”

The student noted that while the administration hasn't issued a statement, the dean has assured them of an independent investigation.

Another incident affecting Dalit and Bahujan students occurred at Sri Venkateswara College, part of Delhi University’s South Campus.

Students Protesting Against the Desecration of Flag on 15th April
Students Protesting Against the Desecration of Flag on 15th AprilHitesh

On April 12th, a debate on reservation erupted in an informal group for 1st Year students of the Hindi department. During the discussion, an alleged ABVP member directed casteist slurs at Bahujan students in the group and disrespected Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Shantanu Singh, president of Delhi University’s All India Students Association, said that the victim reported the incident to the Internal Complaints Committee and the college administration.

“So far, there has been no response from either party. However, we have learned that many professors and elected student representatives of the ICC are dissuading the student from pursuing the matter,” the student leader alleged.

He further accused an unnamed professor from the department of "threatening" the victim in the classroom to deter them from lodging a complaint.

“Given that many professors are affiliated with RSS, this revelation does not come as a surprise,” Shantanu added.

The Mooknayak also spoke with some students to gauge the overall atmosphere at the college and university.

Suraj, a student from the Hindi Department at Sri Venkateswara College, expressed that he generally feels the campus is safe for marginalized students, and the recent attack was the first instance of casteism he encountered there.

He added, "However, there are liberal professors who feel constrained and unable to address issues directly, even in their classes."

Contrarily, Avanti, a student at Delhi University and a member of Bhagat Singh Chhatra Ekta Manch, offered a different perspective. They stated that such incidents have been increasing on campuses in recent years.

Avanti continued, "There seems to be a nexus between the Right-Wingers and college administration, limiting our options for action."

The Mooknayak reached out to the Principal and Administration of Sri Venkateswara College via email. An update will be provided upon receiving a response.

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