Arts Fac


Three years on, the suicide that sparked a rebellion is still being remembered with the wounds of inequality and misuse of administrative power, still fresh and burning.

Just two years ago on this day, Rohith Vemula passed away, his life ending with a noose. This was not just a plain suicide of an Ambedkar Student Association (ASA) student facing discrimination because of his Dalit identity but, as many described it was more of an ‘institutional murder.’ What drove Vemula to suicide or was his death already planned and then made to look like a suicide? Such questions and speculations dominate debates since his death in 2016.

However, what can’t be ignored is that Vemula’s death along with the powerful letter he left behind, surely created a new age of rebellion amongst the youth against caste-based discrimination and University administration.

Commemorating his third death anniversary, a series of talks and marches embraced the University of Delhi’s North Campus.

It started with Youth for Social Justice organising a remembrance meeting for Rohith Vemula followed by a Young India Padyatra from Arts Faculty to Vishwavidyalya Metro Station. It was concluded with a candlelight march at 6 pm from Vishwavidyalya to Arts Faculty.

In the afternoon hours of 17th January, a remembrance meeting for Rohith Vemula was held by Youth For Social Justice at Arts Faculty. Speakers and professors from all over the colleges of the University of Delhi were invited to speak on Rohith Vemula’s suicide which happened three years ago at University of Hyderabad. The Chief Guests of the event were Rajendra Pal Gautam, Minister of Social Welfare, Government of Delhi and Professor Manoj Kumar Jha, Member of Parliament and Department of Social Work, DU. At the meeting, the speakers spoke extensively about the institutional discrimination and systematic oppression Dalits face in central universities and the lack of SC, ST, and OBC teachers in reputed institutes of the country. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Savitribai Phule were remembered and slogans of ‘Jai Bhim’ were raised by the crowd present there. Rohith’s last letter was also quoted a couple of times by the speakers highlighting casteism and elitism in a university space.    

Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU Beat
Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU Beat

As the evening hours set in, a candlelight march was held by Students’ Federation India (SFI). The participants first walked from the metro station to the Vivekananda statue in the Arts Faculty complex. They stood with candles in their hands while a few volunteers stood in front of the statue, honouring Vemula’s legacy.

Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU beat
Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU beat


However, it is ironical that in Hyderabad, Vemula shifted from the SFI to the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) as he found the former to be a body showing some amount of classism, something which Vemula was strictly against. However, this can be heard as speculation too as different sources have been building different narratives since his death.

“Yes, he had his own issues with SFI back then and SFI itself has had issues with the ASA.” Akhil, an SFI-affiliated student from Zakir Husain Delhi College, remarked. He continued by saying, “However, what we need to appreciate is how his institutional murder led all the fronts to change for the upliftment of lesser communities to come together. His death was unfortunate for this country, but it strengthened us and will keep on driving this revolution. In fact, a few months after he passed away, SFI and ASA came together as a coalition and won the Hyderabad University elections.”

After a few moments of silence, the marchers walked back to the Arts Faculty gate and planted their burning candles to the ground. Gathering in a circle, they shouted slogans invoking the immortality of Rohith Vemula, Bhim Rao Ambedkar, and several other pioneers of this movement.

Whatever outcome comes out of this current political scenario with caste-based discrimination still prevailing, notions of patriarchy being challenged, and reservation still being a heated theme in our Parliament, Vemula and the many others who died in this struggle, their legacy will continue to impact the youth.

‘People may dub me as a coward. And selfish, or stupid once I am gone. I am not bothered about what I am called. I don’t believe in after-death stories, ghosts or spirits. If there is anything at all I believe, I believe that I can travel to the stars and know about the other worlds…’

-Rohit Vemula in his death note



Feature Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU Beat

Shaurya Singh Thapa
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Disha Saxena
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So you have made it to one of the colleges in North Campus and now you’re wondering what is beyond the big names and the college crowds in the place. You, dear fresher, don’t really have to worry about it at all. As awesome the crowds and colleges would be, you’ll just fall in love with North Campus and its little places. Here are some of the places you just *have* to check out this semester Kamla Nagar: Kamla Nagar is almost synonymous with the student crowds that throng it regardless they attend college or not. From McDonald’s to KFC’s to CCD’s to momo shops…you find it all! (Not a Pizza Hut though, unfortunately) Check out the latest trends in the Levi’s to Tommy Hilfiger’s in Kamla Nagar or just the cool street-side shopping experience. If you are a bookworm, you can easily sneak in an hour or two in the bookshops which have some good literary titles. If you are a party animal, check out ‘Wildfire’. Or maybe you are someone who loves to enjoy solitude. Well, then you can always sit in the chairs they put up near Barista Lavazza while the noise makers go to Malkaganj. ‘The Ridge’: Now if you don’t know what ‘The Ridge’ is, you will know soon enough. It is quiet, very green and clean too. Far from the crowds, here you can watch some playful monkeys, and cool off after the classes are over. Chances are you will end up watching animals while you jog! Arts Fac: Though it is generally a place where people go for their official work plus postgrad classes, the Arts Faculty, or popularly Arts Fac, is one of the most under-rated spots to hang out in the North Campus. Sit in the lawns, read, eat, watch people argue and then you can always take a walk around the campus that just inspires a calming effect on you. Also, you can have some Mishti Doi from the Mother Dairy stall just outside. D-School: Delhi School of Economics, fondly known as D-School is one of the best places to read, have cheap good food and listen to some old pensioners discuss the political affairs of the nation (loudly) in the evening. The J.P. Tea Stall is another feature in the D-School campus where most people can be found when they have nowhere to go. The Metro Station: Let’s face it north campus is cool because it has its own metro station. That, again, is nothing less than a hangout spot for students. You can find food, crowd, trees and a place to sit and talk with friends. Apart from these places, notable omissions from this list are Uncle Tom’s Maggie and the different college canteens because you will find Maggie everywhere in the campus. With this list of hangout places, this semester will certainly be a breeze for you; they just get cooler with time!   Priyam Goswami [email protected]]]>