|Video Extracts of
Nakshatrada Dhoolu (Stardust), a Kannada play written by
Harsha Kumar Kugwe & Sanjyothi V K.
This one person play, provides a deep insight in the multi-layered understanding and knowledge of oppression, resistance, struggle, ambition and despair.
Nakshatrada Dhoolu begins with setting out the dreams and anxiety which formed the backdrop to Rohith Vemula's action: See I am Rohit
"I loved Science, Stars, Nature, but then I loved people without knowing that people have long since divorced from nature. Our feelings are second handed. Our love is constructed. Our beliefs colored. Our originality valid through artificial art. It has become truly difficult to love without getting hurt.
|Rohit draws his identity
from his mother, Radhika (Roots of Resilience)
As a child, Rohit experienced both gender and caste oppression at the family level, and no peers to share these with. Wretched & Alone
In the Play, Nakshatrada Dhoolu, Harshakumar captures the experience of oppression, going beyond mere caste and gender, into the personal experience of wretchedness and resilience of his mother Radhika, had profound impact on the young Rohith.: (Learning Resilience & Struggle)
Online Diary of Rohith Vemula” edited by Nikhila Henry:
Available at www.juggernaut.in
Vemula’s notion of nationalism involved critiquing it as a Brahmanical construct which excludes Dalits, women, Muslims and anyone who is not an upper caste Hindu man... "When I speak about my community, I am non-Nationalist. When you speak about Nationalism excluding my community, it is never questioned...The obsession with boundaries and labels is nothing less than a reckless fallacy we carry conceitedly in our minds"..Stardust and Inferno: Excerpts from Rohith Vemula’s Online Diary
|Dontha Prashanth,one of the four
students expelled with Rohith talks...
Dontha Prashanth: "we are fighting a battle...for self-respect... That agenda has been placed by Rohith Vermula though his suicide letter itself, where Rohith vermula said there is no humanity which exists in this country...If humanity has to persist, it is this youth which must have to dismantle this caste, which must have to dismantle this communal-ism.. I end with what Ambedkar has said "Lost rights are never regained by appeals to the conscience of the oppressors. They must be fought and reclaimed back. - You are alive in our hearts
Ravish Kumar, NDTV speaks of the politics of the ASA-ABVP from August 2015 when ASA had several programmes which took up several nationally sensitive issues like death sentence to Yakub Memon. He recalled the incidents of 2002 in HCU, where ten dalits students were singled out for rustication, after the students agitated against demotion of a Dalit warden. This happened when the chief warden was Appa Rao, the VC when Rohit commiited suicide.
The Protest Today
In the early hours 28th May 2016, at around 2 P.M., the authorities at the University of Hyderabad removed the tents erected in North Shopcom around the Velivada and the venue of protest following the death of Rohith Vemula.... through an extraordinary and imaginative act of symbolism, Rohith and his four friends have re-installed the Velivada in the midst of the University, in our hearts and in our consciousness. We need not skirt past it or bemoan the loss of the Shopcom (as the administration has been doing). For us it is a living history of sacrifice and struggle, forcing us to continually work towards a more pluralistic and egalitarian idea of the University. - -SC/ST Faculty Forum and Concerned Teachers of Hyderabad University
Radhika Vemula, Raja Vemula and Dontha Prashanth, one of the socially boycotted Dalit research scholars participated in #ChaloUna rally on 15th August (Facebook: Joint Action Committee for social Justice-UoH)
“Attack me, shoot me, not Dalits.” We find it ironic that you chose to say these words a few kilometers from where fake cow-protectors and fake nationalists from your party forced a brilliant Dalit scholar to take his own life. Despite the passion with which you delivered it, your latest speech is as dishonest as the one that you were forced to deliver at the Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow on 22nd January 2016, a week after our brother Rohith Vemula was martyred... We promise you that in the coming days, the social conditions in this country will make it impossible for your followers to continue with their divisive project. Remember that the war that your followers have unleashed on the weakest people on this country will take us all to the path of doom. - Open Letter to PM 8/8/16 by three PhD Students who were suspended alongwith Rohith
|Education was seen as the
essential path to liberation.. and so even as Radhika worked
24x7, she got herself a degree, and as did Rohith.. By Hook or Merit
|Campus life opens out new
worlds. As amazing as this new world is, Harsha Kumar
explores the wider gap that Dalits experience! and the
ruthlessness of the social system..10 Contents of modernity
& Caste ,
||"Not speaking about caste cannot eradicate caste. It just makes discrimination nameless!!! And our activism is not identity politics, it is a struggle for recognition."- Stardust and Inferno|
|Harsha Kumar in her script,
speculates on the possible evolution of Rohits ideology..
from resistance, through Marx and onto to Ambedkar.. in the
next few segments in her play..(11) Through Marx, Ambedkar
Modernity especially in the digital age seems to work in a liberated space. Hereto, the sharp contrast of Dalit existence of untold incidents of atrocities. (15 Technology & Prejudice
|‘The Indian Left will regret bypassing social questions one day. And on that day communism of a different kind will reveal itself in our Nation,’ wrote Vemula in 2014. – the Left had de-radicalised, falling victim to electoral politics and hypocritical double stands on liberalisation and capitalism. Vemula’s dismissal of the Left was not a dismissal of communism, socialism and Maoism. In fact, he regarded Ambedkar a socialist and considered The Communist Manifesto a potent, relevant text. In 2015 he wrote of the rise of a ‘Red sun in a Blue sky’ symbolising the meeting of the twin ideologies... Indian communism has no excuse in neglecting the caste question as the whole of our history is caste centered. And even during fair economic times (goods exchange times) caste was strong enough to impact social relationships. If Indian society is a monument, caste is its foundation. Without rebuilding from the foundation reshaping of the nation only gives a reversible progression. - - Away from the red dye...|
|Rohith experiences it in
the universe of the Campus! This throws Rohith from realm of
academics and university, to that of an activist (15a)
Ignoring caste is castesim..
|The so-called modern and universal ethos of
the university, finds a way to stigma-tise in
order to perpetuate a brahmanical order. Rohith's
ideas of Nationalism was also influence by the works of G
without a Nation"
Aloysius on Nationalism and the caste question
Aloysius Regionalising India:
Kancha Illaih at HCU: Bheem Bhoomi ki Jai
speak about this country's productive masses..
Though these tents were put after Rohith's Suicide on January 17, the ‘Velivada’ enclosure, or Dalit colony, was put up in the shopping complex by the five Dalit students, including Rohith Vemula, who were suspended earlier. Rohith Vemula and other four Dalit students stayed there before Rohith's death, and continue to stay in the Velivada. The other four Dalit scholars have maintained that they will sleep in Velivada till Rohith Vemula got justice. - Hyderabad University VC orders Rohith Vemula protesters to be evicted, students refuse
|But the road of an activist
is not peopled by ideals alone.. he faces real
politics...which easily leaves humanity, rationality,
notions of universe in university, human emotions etc
behind.. . Velivada
Script: Harsha Kumar Kugwe and Sanjyothi V K
Rohith played by: Kiran Marashettyhalli
Directed by: Venkateshwara
Team managed by: Uday Soraba
Technical Support by: Praveen Kumar
Joint Action Committee: Facebook
from Velivada on 6th Aug, 2016, Prof. Susie Tharu sought
to "gather" theory around the struggling symbols of
resistance at the campus and define them ourrselves and not
give a chance to our enemies global capital and hindutva to
define and appropriate them.
The magic of Velivada is that is not just a geographical space, one of cultural significance... Velivada has become a place through which we try to understand ourselves in a new way.. where knowledge has a caste, and Rohith was a strong example of challenging that..