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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Rohith's suicide, JNU row unites Left and Dalit students all over India


|7 March 2016


University and college campuses in India are seeing more unity between opposing student unions than ever before thanks to the issues of the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula and the nationalism-sedition controversy at JNU. Some colleges that never had a student body before are also now creating them.

In JNU, from where Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar was charged with sedition together with seven other students with various political ideologies after an event was organised on campus on 9 February, where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, Leftist student organisations such as the Students Federation of India, All India Students Federation and the All India Students Association are now working together with Dalit group, Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association (Bapsa).

The All India Students Association and All India Students Federation members were the first in JNU to protest discrimination against Dalits after Rohith's suicide on 17 January, and Bapsa members participated in rallies organised by their one-time rivals to protest the government and police crackdown on JNU.

"We still have ideological differences but have decided to join hands on common issues. It's not a permanent union," said Manikanta, a Bapsa leader.".the recent association is aimed at fighting the Right-wing forces, which are on a mission to destroy institutions."