21, Jan 2016
Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr @dna
Hyderabad: There is a perception among some students that vice chancellor P Appa Rao has been unsympathetic and even hostile to Dalit students. Prashant Bagde, who is pursuing his doctoral degree in political science on the topic, “Ambedkarian Buddhism in Contemporary Maharashtra” and others have pointed out that Rao, who is a professor in the life sciences department, had rusticated 12 Dalit students when he was the chief warden in the university in 2002. He also points out that Rao was an ABVP member during his college days.
The four other suspended students, Sunkanna (PhD student in Philosophy), Prashant (PhD student in Economics), Vijyay Kumar (PhD student in Political Science), and Seshaiah (PhD student at Centre for Exclusion and Inclusion Studies), point out that they were accused of assaulting an ABVP student, but they did not show medical evidence to prove the assault. They were contesting the reasons given for their suspension. They do face a police case and the case is due for hearing. Bagde says that the present vice chancellor took action in the matter as soon as he assumed office in December, though the complaint was pending since August last year.
The alleged hostility of the vice chancellor is also seen in the terms of the suspension. It said that the suspended students should not be seen in public spaces on the campus and that should not come to the administrative building in a group. Says Professor PL Visweswara Rao, a former faculty member in the media studies department at the university: “This is an outdated injunction. The university is a modern institution and its space is democratic. You cannot impose provisions of social boycott.”