Trans Student’s Experience Highlights Concerns at University of Hyderabad

The administration is still allegedly following the casteist legacy.
Hyderabad Central University (HCU)
Hyderabad Central University (HCU)

New Delhi: The University of Hyderabad (HCU), one of the prestigious central universities, often grabs headlines for wrong reasons. The varsity is accused of denying a safe space to marginalised communities.

The clothes of Ambedkar Student Association (ASA) General Secretary Hritik Lalan and active member Tikku were allegedly burnt on February 24 night. 

Both the students belonged to the transgender community and were purportedly forced to compromise with their safety and mental health after being made to stay at a men's hostel. 

Photo of the clothes being burned at Boy's Hostel in UoH
Photo of the clothes being burned at Boy's Hostel in UoHX (Formally Twitter)

Following the incident, the administration allegedly chose to turn a blind eye and did not make any attempt to reach out to the victims.

Talking to The Mooknayak, Lalan, who is also the first Dalit trans woman to be elected to the HCU Students’ Union, said such “transphobic acts” are not new to the university.

“When I was elected to the student’s union, a series of attacks started happening against me,” she said, narrating that the assaults were initiated by the members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) — a student wing of the Hindu supremacist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). 

“My photos along with hateful messages regarding my body and anatomy were being circulated in different WhatsApp groups. Eventually, in September, a physical confrontation took place,” she said.

Many residents of the boy’s hostel, she alleged, came to her corridor to click her photos and make videos. 

“The then AISA president was manhandled by the university guards just because she was trying to defend me,” she said.

The students’ body today held a protest against the incident.

“Today, we protested on the varsity campus. I threw my clothes to register my strong protest,” said Ritwik, explaining that she did it to symbolise the reclamation of her autonomy.

She said she asked the Dean of Students, who came there to negotiate with the protesting students, if the university actually cared about Dalit and transgender students.

The Students Union demanded that the transgender policy mentioned in the 2024-2025 prospectus be implemented, GSCASH cases be disposed off effectively within the prescribed three months period, publication of ICC-GSCASH annual status report on the UGC website be ensured, a monthly advisory to all stakeholders be released and anti-ragging and grievance redressal provisions be made available for all marginalised groups.

The HCU history has been marred with violence against the marginalised communities. It is the same university where Rohith Vemula was allegedly institutionally murdered.

This varsity administration, alleged Hritik, has not only sent suspension and rustication letters but also has a history of aiding social boycott. “It still cannot rightfully acknowledge the complaints of marginalised students,” she alleged.

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