The young poet and Dalit Intellectual Meena Kandasamy and the well-known Film maker Anand Patwardhan urged to cast the vote for P .VIJAY KUMAR from Ambedkar Students Association as the President in Students Union election of Hyderabad Central University. Ambedkar Students Association is contesting in the Students’ Union election 2016-17 independently for the Post of President with Vijay Kumar P, one of the socially boycotted students along with Rohith Vemula, as their candidate.
Meena Kandasamy criticized the left appropriation of the justice for Rohith Vemula campaign in the Hyderabad University campus while Anand Patwardhan made a fervent appeal to the SFI candidate to step down in favour of the ASA candidate. Patwardhan also added that in Rohith’s memory it would be appropriate if the ASA candidate wins at Hyderabad University.
Here , the full texts of the statements of Both Meena and Anand Patwardhan. :-
Meena Kandasamy :-
” Though I live thousands of miles away, I’ve been trying to follow the HCU elections–through friends, journalists and others. There now seems to be a three-way contest: the horrible, loathsome ABVP on one side, the Ambedkar Students Association on the other running for the President and the SFI-DSU-Left combine. While I do not know the particular details, and the exact nature of what happened and why the Left-ASA negotiations failed, I know that it is NOT a time for nuances, not a time for people to be on their high horse.
The story of 2016 has been the story of Rohith Vemula, the sad story of the witch-hunt of five, brilliant Dalit young researchers who’ve been tortured and punished and ostracized within academia, and I think we owe it to the courage of these five, and the experiences that they have suffered to stand by them and to see them lead and shine and represent the students of HCU. This, and only this, will be the most befitting answer to the likes of Apparao Podile, to the casteist administration, to the MHRD ministry–and above all, to the high-handedness and ruthlessness and murderousness of the ABVP. Do not forget, do not forgive, and get your revenge at the ballot box.
A leader is not just someone who gets votes, is electable, or is the person who appears on the ballot-list of the biggest power on the campus. The leader is the young man who was forced to live in the velivada, the young man who saw his friend and colleague subjected to institutional murder, the man who stood by his organization, the ASA, instead of giving in to threats. In that sense, VIJAY KUMAR PEDAPUDI is already a leader. Please cast your votes for him, please teach a lesson to the ABVP, please stand for anti-caste politics, please applaud the courage it has taken for these young men to become what they have become. ”
Anand Patwardhan :-
” I firmly believe that to check Hindutva terror and corporate fascism we need a very broad unity of the entire Left spectrum, all Ambedkarites, oppressed minorities and even all those from the dominant community who are willing to stand up against inequality and injustice. But it is one thing to speak of such an ideal. It is another to bring it to fruition.
Tomorrow (28th Sept) will mark the first significant student elections at Hyderabad Central University (HCU) after the tragic suicide (murder) of Rohith Vemula. After this tragedy a Joint Action Committee(JAC) came together to fight the establishment as represented by Vice Chancellor Apparao Podile and the right wing ABVP who both connived to get 5 Dalit Phd scholars punished and socially boycotted, an act that finally led to Rohith’s protest suicide.
Rohith’s death sparked protests across the country and cries of “Jai Bhim, Laal Salaam” rang out. To this was added “Satrangi Salaam” for the ethos that was developing was a rainbow coalition against fascist forces.
As always there are individuals and groups whose short term thinking leads to a breakdown of unity. Some such thing seems to have happened in HCU. As it stands tomorrow there will be a 3 cornered race for student union president between the Ambedkar Student’s Association(ASA), CPM’s youth wing, SFI and BJP’s youth wing,ABVP.
Rohith Vemula belonged to the ASA. In his memory it would be appropriate if the ASA candidate wins at HCU. I am not here to analyse what went wrong so far. I am in my individual capacity making a fervent appeal to the SFI candidate to step down in favour of the ASA candidate. In case this does not happen, I would urge all anti-fascists at HCU to vote according to their conscience.
It must be understood that all the natural allies against fascism must stay together till we create the breathing space to air our own differences.
Jai Bhim! Laal Salaam! Satrangi Salaam ! Jai Jagat ! ”