In India, there are 46 Central Universities but till now there are not many Dalit Vice Chancellor (VC) no matter how qualified a Dalit be. Governments always tried to keep Dalits at a lower level by not promoting them despite being qualified.
On Friday, 23rd June 2017, Suresh Kumar belonging to Mala community among whom Rohith Vemula also grew up became the vice chancellor. Former Registrar of the Osmania University E. Suresh Kumar took charge as Vice-Chancellor of the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU).
No matter this time fight for President of India is among Dalits but more than that what Dalit community needs is that their positions in academics, empty seats in judiciary and other professions be filled and reservation policies be implemented properly. Otherwise, for Dalit community, Ramnath Kovind and Meira Kumar both are slave to BJP and Congress respectively.
Prof. Suresh Kumar, who hails from Warangal district and did his M.A. and PhD. from the Osmania University. He has 27 years of teaching experience and 20 years of administrative experience in Osmania University where he worked as the Registrar.
He has published 30 books and 21 research articles and guided many students in the field of English Language Training and literature.
Caste discrimination faced by Dalit students in universities cannot even be explained in words. From viva-voce to the classroom, they are humiliated by so-called upper caste professors. Rohith Vemula was among five Dalit scholars – members of an Ambedkarite group – who were suspended from their hostel by vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile following five letters from the ministry headed by Smriti Irani. One of the main reason Dalit students face discrimination is that there are no Dalit professors as the government doesn’t fill seats allocated to Dalits.
Some say the government is playing politics and trying to win Dalits’ trust as the general election in 2019 are coming near hence appointment of a Dalit vice chancellor and BJP nominated a Dalit for president’s post in India. “The Centre has appointed a Mala professor to suppress the controversy over Rohith’s death, but it will not help. Using a Dalit to pacify a Dalit movement will be counterproductive. The sincere government would have appointed many of the Dalit thinkers associated with progressive movements to senior posts.” Rohith Vemula’s friend Vijay Kumar said.
Image Credit – Telangana Today
Correction – Earlier, we had mentioned in the headline that E. Suresh Kumar is first Dalit Vice Chancellor but we were wrong as there were some other Dalits who became VC such as Dr. R. K. Kale, VC of the Central University of Gujarat.