Poet Vajpeyi to return D Litt

Poet Vajpeyi to return D Litt

Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi on Tuesday announced his decision to return the D Litt degree conferred on him by the Hyderabad Central University in protest against what he described as “anti-Dalit attitude” that “drove” a PhD research student to suicide.

As the furore over Rohith Vemula’s suicide continued, a group of over 130 scholars, most of who are faculties in higher educational institutions in the UK, the US and Germany, denounced the university administration for taking action against Vemula under “political pressure” in an open letter posted on a news website.

These scholars also demanded a fair investigation into the case and immediate reinstatement of other four Dalit students facing expulsion. “Atmosphere of intolerance not only seems to be continuing, but rising. Incidents like Malda, replay of Muzaffarnagar, and now the university showing anti-Dalit attitude. So, I am returning the honour they bestowed on me. I don’t think I can associate with the university,” Vajpeyi told a news agency.

He had returned Sahitya Akademi Award in protest against the murder of writer and rationalist Kalburgi.

“We of the global scholarly community make an urgent appeal that justice be done in the most recent case of caste discrimination in Indian higher education, that of the University of Hyderabad’s prejudicial suspension of five young Dalit men pursuing PhDs.

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