Caste discrimination remains a harsh reality at many of India’s top educational institutions, including Delhi University (DU). But one brave professor, Dr. Ritu Singh, is leading a growing movement to finally eradicate this injustice.
On Tuesday, February 6th, 2024, Dr. Singh and dozens of other protestors were detained by Delhi police. This marks the second time in just over a month that authorities have disrupted their peaceful demonstration against casteism at DU.
A Professor Wrongfully Terminated for Being Dalit
Dr. Ritu Singh is a former assistant professor at DU’s Daulat Ram College. In 2020, she was abruptly terminated from her position. Dr. Singh asserts this was an arbitrary decision motivated by caste discrimination since she comes from a Dalit background.
For over 160 days now, Dr. Singh has been protesting non-stop to expose the rampant caste discrimination at DU. She is demanding justice not just for herself, but for all marginalized students and staff facing harassment or unfair treatment due to their caste.
Widespread Casteism Within Delhi University
Delhi University is considered one of India’s most prestigious higher education institutions. But numerous reports suggest caste discrimination festers behind the university’s elite reputation.
Dr. Singh accused the Principal of Daulat Ram College, Dr. Savita Roy, of targeted harassment against her for being Dalit. While a charge sheet has been filed against the principal under the SC/ST Act, the university has failed to take action.
This is just one example of many that highlight the toxic casteism ingrained within DU’s culture. Despite laws against caste discrimination, marginalized students and faculty still endure prejudice and mistreatment.
Peaceful Protests Met With Excessive Police Force
Dr. Singh and fellow protestors have been detained without notice multiple times now. On January 9th, police raided and ransacked their protest camp entirely.
This excessive force is an attempt to silence their movement and protect DU’s reputation. But Dr. Singh affirms these unlawful detainments will not deter the struggle. Protests are ongoing until real change is achieved.
The Fight Against Casteism Continues
Dr. Singh is determined to keep protesting until DU suspends and arrests those responsible for casteist discrimination. She urges others to join the movement however they can and help raise awareness.
While disheartening, the backlash highlights just how vital and necessary this campaign is to finally end caste apartheid at Delhi University. Dr. Singh inspires many with her relentless courage to speak truth to power.
The path forward is long, but the movement grows stronger every day. Protests will continue outside Maurice Nagar Police Station until justice is served. Dr. Singh emphasizes that defeating the evils of casteism will require tenacity and solidarity from us all.