Days after University of Hyderabad (UoH) officials pulled down tents erected on campus in memory of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, protesters decided to make a new tent by stitching the clothes donated by the university’s students and faculty.
The blanket used by Vemula while agitating against his and four others’ suspension, will be used as the centre piece of the tent.
“This is to symbolise the solidarity between the students and teachers in the fight to achieve justice for Rohith. We have asked all the students and professors to bring their old clothes to Velivada (Dalit colony) for making the tent,” Y Bhaskar, leader of the UoH Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, told HT.
The activists participating in the Justice for Rohith Vemula movement are planning to erect the new tent at the same makeshift Dalit colony where tents had been set up earlier in Vemula’s memory.
The student members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) reached out to others through social media in a bid to collect as many clothes as possible for their initiative.
“Instead of buying a new tent, we have come up with this novel idea to establish our commitment to the Justice for Rohith cause. Let us see how it works. We are hoping for huge response once the vacations are over and students return to the campus. The size of the tent depends on the number of clothes we collect,” Bhaskar said.
Expressing solidarity with the struggle, Marika, a postgraduate student of the university, said: “Although many of us are busy this summer, we are with the movement. We will reunite in July to make our forces stronger.”
The university authorities had removed the tents erected at the shopping complex in the early hours of May 28, triggering protests from the students.