Ahead of Rohith Vemula’s third death anniversary, which falls on January 17, the University of Hyderabad authorities have removed ‘Velivada’ on Sunday.
The Velivada was erected after Rohith Vemula and his friends were suspended from their hostel in 2016.
The ‘Velivada’. portraits of anti-caste icons like Jyotirao Phule, Savithri Bhai, Dr BR Ambedkar, Periyar, Ayyankali and others.
The students allege that the university had removed the structure early in the morning when no one was around.
The portraits were ‘desecrated’ and ‘demolished’ by the authorities surreptitiously as part of the Vice Chancellor Dr Appa Rao Podile’s larger agenda to silence Dalit voices, ASA said.
“Rohith including five other Dalit scholars were socially boycotted by the University Administration in 2016 in HCU campus reminding us of the same caste untouchability and physical segregation that we have grown up since childhood.” Sumeet Samos, a Dalit rapper and researcher from JNU said.
“The setting up of Velivada with images of Baba Saheb, Phule, Savitri Bai and Periyar where Rohith spent his last days is our reminder, memory and language of how we are treated no different in higher educational institutions of this country. This truth of Caste , untouchability and segregation which manifested itself through this reminder has been demolished. The memory of our brother Rohith Vemula has been demolished. The resistance of our students has been demolished. The protest of our very organic existence has been demolished. But no, the fire that Rohith has lit inside so many of us before his life was taken will not keep quiet but will rebel against the very idea of Caste, untouchability, segregation and demolish them. “
Sumeet posted on Facebook.