Casteism remarks: Upper-caste professor files counter case against Dalit student

Somnath Sow, a Dalit student of Visva-Bharati University (VBU) in West Bengal has alleged that a professor from upper-caste Hindu community refused to interact with him and called him “impure.”

Somnath Sow told PTI news agency that he came across professor Sumit Basu at a tea stall in Syambati area of Santiniketan. It was at that time, Basu “called me a Dalit and said he did not want to talk to me”, Sow said.

Based on Somnath Sow’s allegations, the police have filed a complaint against the professor.

Sumit Basu is a teacher of Manipuri dance at Sangit Bhavana while Somnath Sow, is part of the department of economics.

The professor also filed a complaint with the police alleging that Somnath Sow abused and heckled him.

In his complaint, Sumit Basu claimed that when he was returning home, he was stopped by Somnath Sow who was on his motorcycle, following which he was heckled and abused.

“Today when I accidentally met with the professor at a tea stall in Shyambati area in Bolpur. Sumit Basu hurled a casteist slur against me. He said he does not talk to an SC and he will lose his honour. Then he threatened to kill me and called me a Dalit and impure. I have lodged a complaint against him with Santiniketan police station,” Sow told The Indian Express.

Sow was one of the three students expelled from the university last month for allegedly disrupting the university’s academic atmosphere and “disorderly conduct” earlier this year. The rustication set off protests against the university Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty and the administration. The Calcutta High court on Wednesday set aside the university’s rustication orders.