Hyderabad, April 1 (IANS) Swaraj Abhyan leader Yogendra Yadav on Friday said that a new wave of student unrest is sweeping across university campuses in the country as the establishment is trying to suppress the voice of dissent.
“This always happens in history when someone tries suppress, when someone set all the values and norms aside and wants to just rule with brute force,” he said, addressing students at the main gate of University of Hyderabad as he and other activists were not allowed to enter the campus by authorities.
“The new regime wants to send out clear message that there should be no more thinking, no more critical discussions, nothing that can raise voice of dissent but students are raising their voice,” he said.
Yadav said it was during such unrest that some of the most beautiful and truthful voices of the society come out.
“What we are witnessing today is voices of truth that can’t be suppressed merely with vice chancellor’s orders, by using police or by sending few people in custody,” he said.
With the ban on entry of media, politicians, activists and those not connected with university remained in force, the university security stopped Yadav, retired IAS officer Chaya Ratan and activists from different parts of the country who had come to express solidarity with the agitating students.
Yadav, who was on many occasions in the past was invited by the university to deliver lectures, termed the action of the authorities as unfortunate.
Describing it as a “gate meeting” often seen during trade union movements, he said universities were being turned into factories.
“Come in get your degrees but don’t ask questions, don’t debate, don’t open your mind to anything other than your examination. This is the message they are giving,” he said.
He pointed out that this is happening not just at Hyderabad University but also at JNU, Allahbad University, Jadavpur, IIFT Pune and other universities.
Yadav said that Vice Chancellor P. Appa Rao has no moral authority to continue in the post as he doesn’t enjoy the trust of most vulnerable sections among students.
Recalling his previous visit to the university, he said things were returning to normal under the interim vice chancellor and asked what was the need for sending back Appa Rao.
“To come back in a clandestine manner and to rule the university with the help of police force is one of lowest things that could happen to any academic authority,” he said.
Advising students to carry on the movement in a peaceful manner, he asked them to be careful about hotheads, indisciplined or those planted from outside who may indulge in violence.
Yadav described Rohith Vemula, a Dalit research scholar who committed suicide in January, an icon who is inspiring students across the country.
Meanwhile, students continued their protest on the campus demanding immediate removal and arrest of the vice chancellor.
The students staged a sit-in at the administration block and raised slogans against the university authorities. The authorities called police as a precautionary measure.
Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Social Justice, comprising various students’ groups, is also demanding lifting of curbs on entry of media and others in the university, action against the police officers involved in “targeted violence” against students and dropping of false cases booked against students.