To mark two years since the forced disappearance of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Najeeb Ahmed, United Against Hate led a protest march from Mandi House to Parliamentary Street on Monday. Those who joined the protest included Fatima Nafees, Najeeb’s mother, Radhika Vemula, mother of Hyderabad University student Rohith Vemula; Saira, mother of Junaid who was stabbed to death by Hindutva mob on a Mathura-bound train; and Ashiana Theba, wife of Majid Theba who went missing in Gujarat.
Full transcript : Radhika Vemula’s speech at Parliament March
We have only heard how British rule was oppressive. But we are directly witnessing these days, how the government under Narendra Modi’s BJP is infact worse than the British rule.
Students who go missing or are getting killed across Universities are always either Dalits, Muslims or Adivasis. Have you ever seen any student from kamma, Reddy, Vaishya, Thelaga, Brahmana or Dora (caste feudal landlords) facing deaths or enforced disappearances? BJP and RSS are intentionally targeting our children to generate fear and scare us. But, we should never be afraid of them. We will ensure the end of BJP and RSS’s rule very soon.
Tomorrow is ours! Dalit, Muslim, Adivasi students across the country should directly join mainstream politics. So far, our people believed and voted BJP, RSS, ABVP or such Brahminvadis to power. We are suffering and facing the adverse consequences. Next time, none of us should vote for them. We will vote for ourselves!
Modi, do you think BJP won because of RSS’s votes only? Didn’t we vote for you? Why are you killing our children then? From this stage, I am asking you a question! Why are you killing our children? What necessitated you to kill our children?
Our vote share is much more than the combined vote share of RSS, BJP and any Brahmanvadi force. We chose you as Prime Minister to serve us but not to kill us and our children or to make our children disappear! You should keep that in mind!
Few days back, 8 year old Asifa was tortured,raped for 3-4 days and killed by BJP and RSS people in Ammavaru (Hindu goddess) temple. Did your goddess say anything to you? Didn’t your goddess say anything? Ever since BJP came to power, they have been eradicating Dalits and Muslims to Hinduize the country. What is the use of worshiping those gods and goddesses when they are not ever reacting to a brutal murder of a girl child inside a temple?
From 2016, when my son Rohith Vemula was institutionally murdered, I came out of my home. Ever since I came out of my home, I have been witnessing atrocities taking place on Dalits, Muslims, Adivasis and other marginalized sections.
Ravana has always been seen as a evil figure in history, in epics until today, and his effigy is burnt every year. Although Ravana treated Sita with respect and ensured her safety by appointing women guards, he has been portrayed as a criminal.
Modi, I am telling you, listen! Under your regime, you gave RSS and ABVP the impunity to torture, rape, harass and kill Dalit, Muslim, Adivasi students. In addition, you are protecting the criminals from getting legal punishment. You are directly encouraging them to continue the same. You are killing our children and getting more and more blood on your hands. Don’t push us to a situation where we start burning your effigy like you did to Ravana.
Don’t vote for BJP in 2019 elections. If we vote, they will wipe out our existence. As we firmly believe that the coming days are going to be determined by us, do not believe the promises made by BJP and RSS. Because, they are liars and wicked people!
I appeal to our children to contest in elections across the country. I am there for you always. When Rohith was killed, I would have died then. But there are so many Rohiths living in this country and are still suffering. I am choosing to live for you. Please keep it in mind always. Your mother is there for you.
When Rohith Vemula was killed, there was a national uproar against the killer VC Appa Rao. We demanded for his removal from the post. But BJP government instead protected him. The same BJP government also protected JNU VC in Najeeb’s enforced disappearance case. At the time of elections, do remember these atrocities committed by them. Share these experiences with people. Don’t vote for BJP!
Transcription is done by Arpita Jaya and Shekhar Kummari, research scholars at Hyderabad Central University