The general secretary of University of Hyderabad Students’ Union, Rajkumar Sahu, Wednesday questioned the motive of the Joint Action Committee (JAC), which is leading the Rohith Vemula campaign. In a scathing letter, in which he also tendered his resignation from CPM’s student wing SFI, Sahu accused the JAC of using the platform to target a few people and called for a probe into its funding.
Sahu, a Second Year MCA student, was elected general secretary last year as an SFI member. He was also a member of the JAC, which draws students from the university’s 14 student organisations.
Within minutes of receiving his letter, the SFI announced its decision to expel Sahu.
Apart from accusing the SFI of nurturing feelings of hatred in Rohith, a Dalit PhD student who committed suicide on January 17, Sahu claimed that the JAC was hosting “lavish” get-togethers ever since the protest began.
“I thought that the fight is really for social justice, which I wholeheartedly support even today. However, slowly I felt that the students’ union was effectively hijacked by JAC to mount continuous attack on selected persons. On one hand, the JAC demands justice for Rohith, but it does not cooperate in an inquiry conducted by a judicial commission,” he said.
“The leaders of the JAC and SFI make serious allegations against certain professors, which are actively supported by faculty who have vested interests, but do not come forward either to prove the allegations or hold discussions to solve the problem,’’ Sahu alleged.
Claiming that Rohith, who was active in the SFI for sometime, probably felt isolated, Sahu wrote that his own alienation was “apparently driving” him towards “the unfortunate path undertaken by Rohith”.
About Rohith, he further added: “He was disillusioned, and went on to join Ambedkar Student Association (ASA). It was very unfortunate that he believed in radical methods to achieve justice for the poor. According to me, the SFI nurtured the feelings of hatred in him…’’
Sahu also demanded that the inflow of funds to the JAC and its spending should either be investigated or made public.
“Daily rent of tent is around five thousand and three months have passed already. Lavish food was served for more than ten days to the students’ community free of cost. Largescale events got organised. Certain individual members of the movement are having lavish parties daily… As a participant of the movement, I confirm that massive funds are flowing and I am keen to know the source,’’ said Sahu, who actively participated in the JAC protests earlier.
He also accused SFI and JAC of misguiding students with “imaginary” tales of discrimination.
In a statement, Adithya Harish, the SFI president in the university, condemned Sahu’s remarks and accused him of maligning the movement to seek justice for Rohith.