Anti-Dalit mindset of Modi Government - Kumari Selja
“Facts available in public domain unequivocally establish that Union Minister, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya; BJP MLA, Ramachandra Rao and ABVP activists are squarely responsible for deliberately orchestrating circumstances leading to tragic suicide of dalit Ph.D. research scholar, Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad Central University. This horrific incident is part of Modi government’s unabated agenda to undermine the rights of deprived and underprivileged, particularly the scheduled castes and other backward classes, which has manifested itself in last 19 months.
Suicide of the 25 year dalit boy Rohith is not an isolated incident but a sinister culmination of ‘social boycott’ of dalits from the University campus and passing ‘derogatory remarks’ against dalits by ABVP activists. This seething contempt against dalit community was done with active abetment of University authorities. First, five dalit Ph.D. research scholars of Hyderabad Central University were suspended in August, 2015. A probe by ‘Proctorial Board’ of University gave a clean chit to Rohith and his co-colleagues. Despite a clean chit, they were hounded, persecuted and humiliated at the instance of Union Minister, Bandaru Dattatreya, BJP MLA and ABVP activists, which finally led to them being debarred from using the campus and being evicted from hostel premises. Even the letter dated 18th December, 2015 calling upon the Vice-Chancellor and placing facts of systematic dalit persecution fell on deaf ears. Further information in public domain now shockingly suggests that even HRD Ministry wrote four letters to University demanding action against the five dalit Ph.D. research scholars.
Indian National Congress once again condemns the antidalit mindset of BJP-RSS and demands immediate sacking of Union Minister, Bandaru Dattatreya as also inquiry through a sitting High Court judge in the entire sordid episode examining the role of Union Minister, BJP MLA, ABVP activists, Vice-Chancellor of University as also HRD Ministry. Modi government has become a habitual offender in Dalit Suicid e trampling upon the rights of dalits and poor. Be it the statement of RSS Sarsanghchalak, Shri Mohan Bhagwat, calling for a review of reservation or shameless comment passed by Union Minister, Shri V.K. Singh comparing dalit children to dogs, a deep rooted prejudice is writ large. This anti-dalit mindset of Modi government has extended to widespread cuts in welfare schemes for Scheduled Castes. In Union Budget 2015-16 alone, Modi government imposed a cut of Rs.19,734 crore in Scheduled Caste Sub Plan reducing it from Rs.50,548 crore in 2014-15 to Rs.30,850 crore in 2015-16.
Even, funds in the critical ‘Post Matric Scholarship Scheme’ for SC/ST have been reduced by Rs.305.78 crore in 2015-16. Indian National Congress stands committed to taking on BJP-RSS and fight their anti-dalit mindset with all its might. Congress Vice-President, Shri Rahul Gandhi, who has always championed the cause of the poor, is visited Hyderbad to express solidarity with the grieved family and extended unflinching support for the entire movement of students against caste-based discrimination.”
Statement by Kumari Selja, MP & former Union Minister