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India: Appeal to University of Hyderabad from Academics

25 January 2016

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Appeal signed by several academicians from all over the India addressed to University of Hyderabad. This was originally drafted by 131 members of international community of academicians. If you agree, please send your endorsement to Prof. Abhijit A.M. -> abhijit.comp[at]coep.ac.in

Please note that this list is for academicians only, and we are including in this list only academicians. Other activists can draft and send a separate letter if they so wish.

Appeal to University of Hyderabad from Academicians

(An appeal has been made to University of Hyderabad by 131 members international community of academicians. We share their concerns and write this appeal to the University of Hyderabad)

One of the bright minds of the country, a promising scholar at University of Hyderabad, a student of the thought of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Rohit Vemula has committed suicide on January 17, 2016. While the country is celebrating 125th birth anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar, we stand in shock and awe and write this letter with deep concern about the future of healthy academic atmosphere, freedom of thought, caste discrimination, and principles of natural justice on academic premises.

It is evident from the information available from all the news sources, that political pressure played a role in the decision by the University and the University has reversed it’s own earlier decision about the students. It is also evident that there is a role of the political rival student group and other eminent politicians in the whole affair. The entire sequence of events involving all these agencies, which lead to the suicide of Rohit is deeply disturbing and raises serious concerns on autonomy of educational institutions.

Events of dalit students facing discrimination on academic premises are not rare in India. In his suicide note Rohit said that “My birth is my fatal accident.” We do not view this incidence in isolation, but as a failure of our system to provide an atmosphere of intellectual and personal growth to people who come from most marginalised sections of the society. It is very important for the academic institutions that students like Rohit should feel free to voice their views and concerns using democratic means and foster healthy debates on all issues of concern to the society.

A university where students have to commit suicide feeling caste discrimination needs to seriously introspect and change. We appeal the University of Hyderabad that justice be done in the case of the suicide of the scholar Rohit Vemula, that the suspension of the other four students must be revoked immediately. We also appeal that a proper inquiry be conducted into the whole sequence of events which lead to the suicide of Rohit Vemula and action be taken against those found guilty.

We, the members of academic community in India, urge the University of Hyderabad to take actions to restore the confidence of academic community by living up to its obligation to end institutionalized discrimination, to educate all students in a climate of respect and empathy, and to resist political pressures.

Endorsed by

  • Dr.S.T.Vagge, Professor , Dept. of Metallurgy & Materials Science, College of Engineering Pune.
  • Dr.P.D.Shendge, Associate Professor, Instrumentation & Control Deptt., College of Engineering, Pune-5
  • Prof. Dr. Shantipal S. Ohol, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, College of Engineering, Pune
  • Dr. Yashodhara V. Haribhakta, Department of Computer Engg. & IT, College of Engg. Pune
  • Abhijit A.M., Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Engineering and I.T., College of Engineering, Pune
  • Vidyanand S. Galphade,Assistant Professor, Department of Metallurgy & Materials Science, College of Engg. Pune -411005,
  • Dr. Sunil R. Patil, Assistant Professor,, Dept. of Physics, College of Engineering, Pune
  • Jagadish Kashinath Kamble, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Engineering and Information Technology, College of Engineering, Pune.
  • Mr. Vijay M Khadse, Assistant Professor, Department Of Computer Engg. and information technology, College of Engineering, Pune
  • Siddharth K Gaikwad, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Engineering and IT, College of Engineering, Pune – 5
  • S.M.Nawghare, Assistant Professor, Department Of Civil Engineering, College Of Engineering Pune
  • Prof. P. M. Raval, Professor, Town Planning, College of Engineering, Pune
  • Sudipto Muhuri, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Physics, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune
  • Hiren Gohain, retired Professor of English,Gauhati University,Assam
  • Mihir Arjunwadkar, Associate Professor, Centre for Modeling and Simulation , Savitribai Phule Pune University
  • Dinesh Abrol, Professor ISID, TRCSS, CSSP, JNU
  • Harjinder (Laltu) Singh, IIIT Hyderabad
  • Niruj Mohan Ramanujam, NCRA-TIFR, Pune
  • Dr. Swati, formerly at B.H.U., Varanasi
  • Dr Sadhana Natu, Associate Professor and Head, Dept. of Psychology, Modern College, Ganeshkhind, SPPU
  • Prof Panditaradhya, Prof of Kannada (retd), University of Mysore, Maisuru
  • Prof. Anil Sadgopal, Member, Presidium, All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) & Former Dean, Faculty of Education, Delhi University
  • Dr. Javadekar Sharad, Akhil Bharatiya Samajwadi Adhyapak Sabha, Formerly at Ness Wadia College, Pune
  • V.Vasanthi Devi, Former Vice-Chancellor, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tamil Nadu
  • Anagha Tambe, KSP Women’s Studies Centre, SP Pune University
  • Poornima Chikarmane, Associate Professor, Adult and Continuing Education, SNDT Women’s University.
  • Ms Sarwat Ali, Associate Professor, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi - 110025
  • Sneha Gole, Assistant professor , Krantijyoti savitribai phule women’s studies centre, Savitribai Phule pune University
  • Kuntal Ghosh, Associate Professor, Indian Statistical Institute
  • Vandana Palsane, Associate Professor and Head, Department of Sociology, Shree Siddhivinayak Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Karvenagar, Pune 411052
  • Swati Dyahadroy, Women’s studies centre Savitribai Phule Pune University
  • Sachin N, Dyal Singh College, University of Delhi
  • Thokchom S. Surjit, Synroplang for Social Transformation, Shillong, Meghalaya.
  • Nisha Biswas, retd scientist, CSIR
  • Uma Chakravarti, retd, Miranda House, Delhi University
  • Professor K P Mohanan, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, Maharashtra
  • Sadhna Arya, University of Delhi
  • Anjali Maydeo, Associate Professor, Director (Hon),B D Karve Research and Consultancy Cell, Karve Institute of Social Service,Pune
  • Nagmani Rao, Associate Professor, Karve Institute of Social Service, Pune, Maharashtra
  • Uma V Chandru, Researcher, Bangalore

The list of endorsements is not complete, some more names are there too.