Outrage, Online Petition & FIR: Jain University Skit Draws Condemnation for Casteist Remarks

Outrage, Online Petition & FIR: Jain University Skit Draws Condemnation for Casteist Remarks

Bengaluru— A recent performance of a skit by students of Jain University in Bengaluru, that included derogatory and disrespectful comments towards the esteemed Constitution maker B.R. Ambedkar, along with the portrayal of the discrimination faced by a person of lower caste as he endeavors to win the affection of a woman from a higher caste or join the army, has sparked a widespread controversy. The skit, which was witnessed by several students and widely circulated through various social media platforms, has elicited a strong response from marginalized communities.

Despite a formal apology from the performers, leaders of the community remain unsatisfied. Upon a written complaint by a state member of Vanchit Bahujan Yuva Aaghadi, the matter is being investigated at the Nanded police station in Maharashtra. Also, a students group has initiated an online petition condemning the act, which is gaining wide support.

Outrage, Online Petition & FIR: Jain University Skit Draws Condemnation for Casteist Remarks
Cats & Dogs have a better life than Dalit students in varsity campuses!

Insensitive & Casteist Remarks- Online Petitioners

On February 6th, 2023, Jain Deemed to be University hosted its annual college festival, Samyoga- Jain University Youth Fest. During one of the events, the college contingent, Centre for Management Studies performed a deeply casteist and offensive skit, which was also performed at another college fest in Bengaluru, hosted by Under 25. In their skit, the students altered the name of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar to "Beer Ambedkar," which caused offense among many of his followers. Another one liner, "Why be a Dalit when you can be D-Lit? " Too has been interpreted as an attempt to make fun of the historic oppression faced by the community. The performance sparked outrage among students and members of the community, who criticized the perpetuation of such insensitive behavior by the University, CMS, and Under 25. Despite objections raised by some people present at the event, no action was taken to address the issue.

Outrage, Online Petition & FIR: Jain University Skit Draws Condemnation for Casteist Remarks
Tribal Fishermen Face Loss of Livelihood and Fish Populations Due to Tilapia Invasion in Jaisamand Lake

In response, students who attended the festival launched an online campaign on Jhatkaa.org, demanding a public apology from Jain University, CMS, and Under25 for their actions. "It is unacceptable that the script for the performance went through multiple rounds of approval before being enacted on stage. The same insensitive script was enacted on February 5 by the same contingent at another college fest, sponsored by Under 25 in Bengaluru,” the petition read. The petitioners also called for concrete steps to be taken towards educating themselves and others on the importance of inclusivity and sensitivity towards marginalized communities."The promotion of harmful and offensive content has no place in any educational or public platform and goes against the ideals fought for by leaders such as B.R Ambedkar," a student supporting the campaign asserted.

Outrage, Online Petition & FIR: Jain University Skit Draws Condemnation for Casteist Remarks
Insecurity Looms: Tribal Community Bears the Brunt of Increase in Crimes

An apology that was withdrawn

Meanwhile the performers 'The Delroys Boys' tendered a public apology on their Instagram handle which was removed afterwards. In the post, they wrote that it was never the intention to trivialize or make light of the atrocities faced by the marginalized communities. The post further read: Our aim was to shed light on their hardships through humour. It is sorry to hear that some people have misinterpreted it differently. Further regretting for any probable harm done, the performers also emphasized that the video was not meant to be divisive or insensitive in any way.

Outrage, Online Petition & FIR: Jain University Skit Draws Condemnation for Casteist Remarks
55-yr old tribal man helping villagers cross river on a handmade bamboo raft with tyres-tubes

Not students but the V-C and Department Head are responsible- Aakshay Bansode

The snippets of the skit containing in a video, circulated on various media platforms , that was watched by thousands of people across the country. Aakshay Bonsade, the State Member of Vanchit Bahujan Yuva Aaghadi , who too saw the video, gave a written complaint to the Nanded Superintendent of Police in this connection , requesting to take action as per the Section X(3) of the SC/ST Act, as well as Sections 153, 153A, 295, 499, 500, 503, 504, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

Speaking to The Mooknayak, Aakshay said that though the performers have publicly apologised and regretted the mistake but neither the University or the Head of the CMS have issued any statement so far. "We do not want to cause any harm, considering the students' future by initiating any legal action on them, however, the Vice Chancellor and concerning department head are more responsible for the episode. Hence, I will go ahead with my complaint which is being investigated by the Nanded police, my statement would be recorded in the evening and the FIR would be registered accordingly" Bansode said.

Support the Janwadi journalism of The Mooknayak, which prominently raises the issues and problems of the exploited/deprived, Dalit, tribal, women and minorities. The Mooknayak is run by your support. Click here for Support.

Related Stories

No stories found.
The Mooknayak English - Voice Of The Voiceless