UoH Alumni Open Letter against the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula, the return of Dr. Appa Rao as UoH’s VC, and therohith

As alumni of the University of Hyderabad, we observed with dismay the return of Dr. Appa Rao Podile as the Vice-Chancellor of University of Hyderabad (UoH) on March 22. We strongly condemn this provocation that led to the police brutality on campus. The shutdown of the university which has followed is unacceptable and unlawful.

A couple of days ago, a report ranked three departments of the University of Hyderabad among the top 500 university facilities in the world. The education we received at UoH helped us to not only shape our careers, but also to question, critique and analyse concepts such as equality, fraternity and social justice. Upon entering a central university of this size, we were exposed to the sheer diversity of this country. UoH, like other central universities in India, is an amalgam of many languages, cultures, religions and regions.

However, much like the rest of the country, the university campus is a space where systematically oppressive caste structures operate and are institutionally legitimised. Recent events at UoH have left us dismayed and angered at the treatment meted out to peacefully protesting students at the hands of the administration and the police.

Suicides of Dalit students have been recurring in UoH. While such incidents continue unabated across the country, the issue spiralled into a nationwide students’ protest with the untimely death of Dalit scholar and social activist Rohith Vemula on January 17th. Rohith’s suicide note gives us glimpses into the individual that he was — an astute observer of the human condition. His progressive ideas gave hope, especially to marginalised groups, for whom he fought tirelessly. The son of a Dalit mother who makes her living out of a sewing machine, he proudly bore his mother’s identity and fought for the rights of all people regardless of caste, class, gender and sexuality. He was especially vocal about the plight of Dalit students, a 200-million-strong population that has historically been denied fair opportunities to achieve social mobility in Indian society. It is unforgivable that the university administration could not save him.

A grave problem lies, therefore, in the fact that as of March 22, Dr. Appa Rao Podile, who mismanaged the suspension of Rohith and others, leading to his suicide, has resumed the office of the VC after two months of leave. This is highly inappropriate especially given that a non-bailable charge is registered against him under the SC/ST Atrocities Act and a judicial inquiry to determine accountability is still pending.

The morning of Rao’s return saw an unprecedented display of violence in the campus. The media reported that the students pelted stones and ransacked the VC’s lodge. But, information from several sources, especially eyewitness accountsfrom students, faculty and non-teaching staff, contests mainstream media reports. There is ample footage of the police brutally assaulting students with lathis. Some police personnel allegedly threatened to rape students. Even faculty members were not spared.

After the incident, the university has been locked down with no food (14 messes have shut operations), water, electricity (in some parts), and no internet connectivity. This cannot be the reality of a central university, where, as we write this letter, ATM cards linked to student accounts have been blocked barring students from making essential purchases. Students who attempted to cook for their peers were severely beaten up by the police for the absurd crime of ‘cooking in a public place’. The administration has imposed an emergency-like situation in one of India’s biggest universities. Today UoH resembles a surveillance state with students being attacked, and their basic needs like food, water and money being denied to them. As the University and state administration try to starve out its own students by using state machinery and the law to wage war on members of a public institution, the response of the city has been heartening, with residents of Hyderabad cooking and delivering food and water to the students.

In light of these developments, we appeal to all citizens to keep asking the unpleasant questions that Rohith’s suicide has raised; questions about the persistence of caste in our educational institutions, and the present government’s apathy and refusal to hold the university administration accountable. Universities are spaces for understanding our complex social structures where questions are and must be raised against the abuse of power and authoritarianism.

We the undersigned alumni of this university-in-turmoil write to draw attention to the atrocities that the students are experiencing for raising their voices against injustice. We stand with the students and faculty around the country in universities like UoH, JNU, FTII, DU, IIT Madras, University of Allahabad and numerous others that are fighting to uphold the freedoms that are guaranteed by our constitution. We stand with Radhika Vemula and her ongoing courageous struggle for justice against a casteist and patriarchal administration. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of students and faculty members who were ambushed and taken into judicial custody on the morning of March 22. We condemn any kind of violence that tries to suppress freedom of expression and seeks instead to spread fear. Let all students and citizens debate to make India the safest example of a real grassroot democracy. Let them speak for a just world where everyone feels safe to just be.



NameAffiliationYear of graduationCourse of study
Nanditha MathewResearch Fellow, National Research Council, Italy.2009M.A and M.Phil Economics
Aabha SharmaKPMG India2014IMA Political Science
RASHAD MOIDEENNo Affiliation2014
Hameeda C. K.Student, JNU2014
VG BalajiAlumnus2010
Gopika G GPhD Scholar, Centre for Development Studies2014
Krishnendu AdiyatStudent2012
Vaishnavi ShankarInstructional Designer2008MA English
Anu SalelkarAlumni, Student, Hyderabad Central University2008
Juby GeorgeEditor, Higher ed publisher2010
Silpa SatheeshStudent, University of South Florida2010
Alamuru SoumyaFrelane research scholar2011
Shauhrat S. ChopraPostdoctoral Researcher, Institute of Environmental Science and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago2009
Carmel ChristyPostdoctoral fellow, University of California Santa Cruz2011
Shijo VargheseAsst. Professor, Sacred Heart College, Thevara2013
A.P SreerajAssistant Professor, CUR2010
Abhigna SAcademic Editor2012
Bestin SamuelWriter, World Vision India2012M.A English and MPhil Comparative Literature
Maithreyi M RSenior editor, BNHS-India1997
Ramesh BairyAssociate professor, IITB2004
Navika HarsheHCU/ alum2004
Anirban DeyEditor, Cambridge University Press2010
Bindhulakshmi PAssociate Professor, TISS, Mumbai2010
Shipra NigamResearch Scholar , New Delhi2000
Jaseena t pStudent2003
Tore HolstExternal lecturer, university of Roskilde2007MA English
Diana GomesAlumni, UoH2014M.F.A Painting
Rakesh NanjappaStudent, State University of New York2014
Priya VijayPhD scholar, JNU2014M.A English and MPhil Comparative Literature
Shamsudheen U. KHCU alumni2013
Aparna RHCU alumni2014
Samiah SultanaEx-student, University of Hyderabad2015
Mahaprajna NayakCSSSC, Kolkata2005
Kirti Ajith VarmaIndependent researcher2011
Meghana RaoPhD Student, University of Toronto2013
Faiza HasanAlumni, University of Hyderbad2014
Savitha SureshStudent, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore2014
Merlin Abey TheressaAnalyst, Private Firm2012
Soumava BasuStudent2013
Jithin MathewStudent IIT B2012
Soumya BalanStudent2010
Nithin MAssistant Professor, MCC2012
Dhaneesh M PM.Phil Research Scholar2002
Sreekumar jayadevanIIT Jodhpur2012
ManjariStudent, Central University of Gujarat2012
Ojas ShettyIndependent Researcher2015MA Anthropology
Sheeja RajagopalStudent, IITM2002MA English
Abhishek BakuliStudent, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung2008
Abir DasguptaStudent, TISS2011
R K DebbarmaAssistant Professor, TISS, Guwahati campus2014
Rahul DeshmukhStudent, City University of New York2012
Gowri ShankarStudent, UOH2012
Muhammed PResearch Scholar, EFL University, Hyderabad2007
DeeptiChief copy editor, The Times of India2011
Sujata MishraPolicy Researcher2010
Rohit ThapaTeach For India2007
Himanshu UpadhyayaAssistant Professor, Azim Premji University2014
M Naresh KumarStudent2003
Tore HolstRecent PhD Graduate/Roskilde University2006
Shilpaa AnandAssistant Professor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University Hyderabad2006
Monty MajeedJournalist2000
ManjariStudent, Central University of Gujarat2011
Vikas Kumar MoolaM.Phil Social Sciences, CSSSC2012IMA Sociology
SALMA ASHRAFSTUDENT, University of Hyderabad2012
Richa GuptaCentre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta/PhD research scholar2012MA English
Kevin B. HaynesStudent, Western Michigan University2012
Nandini ChandrashekarStudent2014
M Naresh KumarStudent/University of Hyderbad2006MA English
Kedar KulkarniStudent, University of Hyderabad2006
Nikhilesh SinhaLecturer, Hult International Business School, London2004MA Economics
Arpan GangulyStudent, UoH/Graduate Instructor, Colorado State University2004
Tejaswini MadabhushiIIIT2012
Srinath raghunathanStudent2008
Karteek KunnalaStudent2014
Knut AuklandPhd candidate, University of Bergen, Norway2014
Asamol Mohanstudent2008
Lijinesh M Tstudent2010
Ratheesh RadhakrishnanAssociate Professor, Dept. of HSS, IIT Bombay2011
Devi G RPhD scholar, Dept. of Physics, IIT Madras2012M.Sc. Physics
Laishram PriyankaAlumni, University of Hyderabad2014
SharmilaAssociate Professor, Dept. of HSS, IIT Bombay2014
Yacoub Zachariah KuruvillaPhd Research Scholar, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai2001
Rekha AbelIndependent Development Consultant1995Ph.D. Linguistics
Alex M. ThomasSenior Lecturer, Azim Premji University2011MA and MPhil Economics
K.SrilataProfessor, Dept of HSS, IITM1998MA,  MPhil and PhD English
Tejaswini NiranjanaProfessor, TISS and Lingnan University1998
Swati BandiIndependent Scholar1998 – presentFaculty
Sujith Parayilstudent2000
Paromita BoseAssistant Professor, Mahindra Ecole Centrale2014M.Phil, PhD English
Jayanti K ChhetriAlumni, University of Hyderabad2010
Suresh PittalaPostdoc at Indian Institute of Science2010
Sanjeev C MAssistant Professor, NIFT2000MFA Painting
Jasmeet SahiFreelance writer2008MA English
Anupama SEx Student UoH2008
Priyanka DasStudent, UOH2014
Sanjeev RoutraySessional Lecturer, University of British Columbia2001
Shashikantha KoudurAssociate Professor, NIT, Karnataka2001
Amrit Amlan PattanaikSenior Lecturer, Xavier University Bhubaneswar2008
Unika PrustyFreelance Journalist & Independent Researcher2010
Bidyut Sagar BoruahIndependent Researcher2009
Dharashree DasPhD Candidate, Simon Fraser University, Canada2001
Gurveen KaurIndependent Researcher, Alumnus1986
Pridhvi SabbineniAlumnus,University of Hyderabad (Physics)2012
Mohsin KhanEconomist/consultant – Deloitte Malaysia2009MA Economics
Sawmya RayAssociate Professor, IITG2009
Vaskar UpadhyayUoH, MA English, 2001. Currently based IN, US2009
Kiriti KanjilalPhD Student, Washington State University2013
Koshy TharakanProfessor, Goa University1992
Kushal DebProfessor, Dept. of HSS, IIT Bombay1989
Navaneetha Mokkil MaruthurAssistant Professor, JNU2001
TV MadhuProfessor, University of Calicut1996
Lourembam ArnoldStudent, University of Hyderabad2014-present
Sudeshna DeviStudent, Jawaharlal Nehru University2007
Shravan KumarAlumni, University of Hyderabad1997-1999MA Communication – SN School
Avinandan MukherjeeAlumnus, University of Hyderabad2007MA English
SwathysreePhD Candidate, IIM Calcutta2013
Akhila M VAlumnus, University of Hyderabad2011
J S SamSocial Scientist2007
Sujith SNArtist.2007MFA – SN School
Uday Bhaskar SharmaSenior Research Fellow, IMSc, Chennai.2011M.Sc. Mathematics (Integrated)
Madhusudan NagResearch Scholar, Centre for Development Studies2011-13M.A in Economics
Umasankar PatraUniversity of Delhi, Delhi2011MA English
Vishal BabuEditor, Viva Books Private Limited2011MA English
Parvathy RajendranStudent,JNU2013
AnandavardhananAssociate Professor, IIT Bombay2002
Vipin KrishnaJNU PHD Student2010
Jaya PeterStudent, HCU,HYDERABAD1996
Rekha AbelIndependent Development Consultant1995
Divyaprabha V JStudent2012
Anita CherianAssistant Professor in English, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi1993
Bindu K CAmbedkar University/ Assistant Professor2004
Anupama Ayyala SomayajalaCentral University, Gujarat/Assistant Professor1998
Venkatesh babuStudent1996
Anil kumarStudent1996
Madhumita BiswalCentral University, Assistant Professor2009
Sudarshan PapannaCentral University, Gujarat/Assistant Professor2012
Abhishek ShawAssistant Editor, Economic and Political Weekly2011
Jomy AbrahamPhD research scholar, JNU2013
Deepak RajulaStudent, UOH2014
Kranthi NanduriFellow student, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta2014
Reshma RadhakrishnanResearch Scholar, Delhi University2005
Parvathi K. IyerAssistant Professor CUG2009
Amit UpadhyayAssistant Professor, TISS Hyderabad2001MA Sociology
Rituparna Suruniversity of hyderabad2012
D ParthasarathyIIT Bombay Professor1995
Ratheesh KumarJNU/ Assistant Professor2000
Rajyashree SenPhD student, Janelia Research Campus, VA2012
Dr. Robin Luke VargheseIndependent Researcher2015MA, MPhil, PhD Philisophy
Niveditha KalarikkalAssistant Professor, , Central University of Gujarat2013
Shamsiya QosimovaIndependent Contractor, BBC Monitoring in Dushanbe2001
Sunitha MLead Technical Writer, Wipro Technologies, Hyderabad2006
Saiyora SaimurodovaStudent, Master of Arts in Sociology, HCU2001
K.L.LeonEx-Student,SN School,Painting2003
Dr.D.AnandAsst. Regional Director , Indira gandhi National Open University2008
Asmita ChaudhuriProject Fellow, Jadavpur University2007MA, Applied Linguistics
Samik MallaResearch Scholar, IIT Madras2013
Smrti K.PIxD Architect, Nokia2007MPhil English, PhD Translation Studies
Dr. Itishree PattnaikAssistant Professor, GIDR2009Phd Economics
Naresh SEx-Student,SSB2006
Shivali TukdeoNIAS, Bangalore
Milan George JacobHindustan Times, New Delhi2014IMA Economics
S. AnandPublisher, Navyana1997MA and Mphil, Department of English
Elizabeth PriyankaEx-student, MA Communication2013SN School.
Sumanta ThangjamPhd, Philosophy2013
Thushara MohananEx Student , MA Communication2009SN School
Pritipushpa MishraLecturer, University of Southampton
Jasmine YimchungerAssistant Proffessor, Sikkim University2007MA Communications – SN School
Balendu RashmiBhumika Women’s Collective2014Integrated Masters in Sociology
Sudha SamyuktaPRIA2014Integrated Masters in Sociology
Geetha KrishnaPRIA2014Integrated Masters in Sociology
Vinitha MokshagundamLecturer, Mount Carmel College, Bangalore2012MA, M.Phil, History
Ado KehieStudent, IIT Guhati2005MA Sociology
Ganga BhavaniHCU2004
Jaishree Ram MohanEditor,1994
ThungchobeniAssistant Professor,Alder College,Kohima.2007
Jyotsna YedemHCU Alumni2008
Akshara RavishankarAssistant Professor, Gargi College2012
Themeem TAsst. professor, St. Stephens College, Delhi2015
VinithaLecturer, Mount Carmel College, Bangalore2012
Suresh K Gollestudent2009
Pattela Omkar NadhStudent2014
Malavika RaoPerformance maker2008
MonicaEx Student from UOH2014
Minu. AAlumni2011
Kiran SikhaStudent2012
Naveen Kumar PStudent2011
Deepthi Krisha TStudent2016
Santosh GurraniAlumni, Hyderabad Central University2011
Chandra Kiran KattaCommunication Specialist/NGO2006
Queenie Fanconstudent2009
Shravan KumarUniversity of Hyderabad – Alumni1999
DhilipIndependent Researcher2012
Aswani RSHCU Student2011
Monica NanjundaUniversity Of Hyderabad – Alumni2013SN School Of Fine Arts
Kedar KulkarniResearch Assistant, FEEM, Italy2014IMA Economics
Rakesh R.Assistant Proffessor, St. John’s College2012MA and MPhil, Department of English
Imlienla JamirStudent, Analog IAS2014IMA Political Science
Ekta SinglaStudent, UCL-Institute of Education, London2011MA Applied Linguistics
S SayujyaAlumnus, UoH2014MPhil English
Anwesha ChakrabortyPhd Student, University of Bologna2007MA English
Ratan LaishramAlumni HCU2012MA Economics
Sunil Kumar PolamuriIT Professional1999MA Applied Linguistics
Sukriti KapurStudent, Erasmus Mundus Masters Program2014MA Economics
Tharakeshwar V.B.Teacher, EFL University1997Ph.D. English
Madhurima MajumderResearch fellow, Anveshi2013
M B Sudha RaniMedia Professional1999MA Mass Communications
Rakesh SenguptaPost-doctoral researcher, York University, Toronto2015Ph.D., Cognitive Science
G Naga Sena RanaMedia Professional1999MA Mass Communications
Sopei Joel RungsungMedia Professional2013MA Mass Communications
Aravind ParakkotAlumnus2001MA English
Anu K antonyResearch fellow, IIT, BombayMA, Mphil Sociology
Anna MiniFreelance writer2014MA Political Science
Anas Nazar
Rajeswari SAlumnus2004
Yanger Kichu2007MA History
Asima JenaAssistant professor,Central University of Gujarat2009
Anuradha BanerjiResearch Scholar, Ambedkar University2011
Sreejith TStudent2012
Mrudula BhavaniEx-student2015
Anju Christine LinghamStudent, King’s College London, University of London2013
Arathi RStudent2014
Lakshmi PriyaStudent2013
Pranith MaddiralaSN School, University of Hyderabad2011
Esfandiar Adina (Rahim Rahimov)Student2002
sukhvinder multanieducationist and researcher2004
Varunika SarafArtist2006
Monu RajanAlumnus, UoH2011
Shriya sharmaStudent2015
Abhilash AugustineStudent, JNU2013
madhav vinodhStudent, UoH2013
Kathi Mahesh KumarStudent2000
Nagesh MuppavaramStudent2013
Hariprasad RStudent, central university of hyderabad2011
Sujatha GirijaAlumnae of HCU2004
Harini KumarPhD student, University of Chicago2011
Elsa OommenWarwick2011
Mariyam Mumthasstudent2015
Anoop DanielStudent2015
GautamiAlumnus/University of Hyderabad2012
Nargis VasundharaStudent, Ph.D, Delhi University2011


Have your say




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


We are many, we are one.


Leave a Reply 

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *