The sudden resignation of Raj Kumar Sahu, general secretary of University of Hyderabad Students’ Union from the Students Federation of India, the student wing of the CPI (M), blaming it on the “opportunistic” policies of the party for the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula on January 17, triggered a commotion among the university students.
In his seven-page resignation letter, Sahu accused the SFI and the Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Social Justice of putting the future of the university students at stake in the name of continuing the agitation seeking justice for Rohith.
When contacted, Sahu told HT that he had posted the contents of his letter on his Facebook page and he was not in a position to speak further. “The letter speaks for itself as to why I had to quit the organisation and how the agitation in the name of justice for Rohith was going on. I am at a place, where I cannot speak more,” he said.
With the resignation of Sahu and his serious comments against the ongoing agitation creating ripples in the student groups, the UoH Students Union and JAC called for a press conference on Friday to clarify their stand and announce their future course of action.
JAC leader Venkatesh Chowhan told HT that Sahu was under pressure to come out of the movement ever since he was booked in the case for attacking on the office of UoH Vice Chancellor P Appa Rao, when the latter returned to the campus to resume duties in March. “Sahu is pursuing his second year Masters in Computer Applications course in the university. He was elected the general secretary of the students’ union because he was very active and moreover, the MCA students wanted their representative in the union. But, he turned out to be timid and it appears, he is under pressure from the University officials and the ABVP,” Venkatesh said.
Adithya Harish, president of SFI, UoH wing, strongly condemned the statement made by Sahu, maligning the organisation and the movement Justice for Rohith. “He has betrayed the entire students’ community by disrespecting the mandate of the students in the recently held University General Body Meeting organised by Students’ Union. We suspect that the administration and ABVP, not being able to democratically face the students has lured him to stoop to such level of betraying the students’ community which elected him,” he said.
In his letter, Sahu said his loneliness and alienation were affecting his studies and also apparently driving him towards the unfortunate path undertaken by Rohith Vemula. “I think coming into the open and getting distanced from the wrong way would save me from the doom,” he said.
Castigating the “opportunistic politics of SFI” and false propaganda being carried out against certain people, Sahu said students were losing out on opportunities due to the agitations and the irrelevance of the movement.
Meanwhile, the BJP on Thursday fired a salvo at the Communist parties from the shoulders of a SFI leader of Hyderabad University’s students’ union who resigned from the outfit accusing it of double standards.
“Sahu’s resignation is not important but the serious questions he has raised over the Left parties are and his comments that how for political reasons they exploited sentiments of students. He said Vemula felt isolated due to working style of SFI and he was being treated similarly,” BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav said.
Party’s national secretary Shrikant Sharma claimed that Congress had joined the Left in targeting the Centre and BJP over the issue but both of them have been “exposed”. “Congress chief Sonia Gandhi should answer why Rahul Gandhi went to the Hyderabad University twice. Congress and the Left have played with sentiments of students and have been exposed,” he said, questioning the “silence” of those who have been attacking BJP over the issue.