Published: 16th July 2019
I'm from the land of Periyar, will not stop hunger strike: TISS-Hyd student's moving Facebook post
Prabakaran AK, from the School of Public Policy and Governance, is one of the students on a hunger strike. Many students are continuing their strike even outside campus
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad shocked students by abruptly shutting down the campus as the students protested for the eighth day consecutively. The management said that academic activities would be suspended sine-die, which essentially means there is no reopening date. Ever since, several student bodies from across the country have come out in support of the students and condemned the management's move to close down the campus. However, students are still continuing their strike even though they are not on campus.
Prabakaran AK, from the School of Public Policy and Governance, is one of the students on a hunger strike. Even as the campus shut down, he wrote on his Facebook wall — To the TISS, Hyderabad and Mumbai administration. Be ready, I am fighting back the casteism unleashed against the student's protests. I am not calling off the hunger strike, I am continuing it. And remember my address. This is Prabakaran from the Land of Periyar.
Protesting students being called casteist
Prabakaran took to Facebook to call out the fact that the GOIPMS students were allegedly being 'branded as and being called casteist'. He said that people were portraying the protest as something thing that upper caste students organised to fulfill their own demands. "I'm writing this as an emotionally weak person with extreme hunger, back pain and someone who is struggling to even talk. I happened to hear that some of my friends who stand for the cause of GOI-PMS students as casteist. I want to call out their names but refrain from it," he said.
He adds that he has known these protesters since the December protests, "I know all of my friends who are here in the ongoing protests at a personal level. They are emotionally charged because of the provocations caused by certain students, some in administration as well."
The student said that he is in great distress because of the hunger strike but this branding of his friends is more painful to him, "This issue of branding us as casteist is giving me an additional reason to continue with my hunger strike. Please take cognizance of the issue because I do not want my friends to be called casteist and I will continue to be in a hunger strike as long as possible even if demands negative consequences for my health."
Students accuse institute of trying to 'hide'
After the campus shut down, students were forced to return to their hostels, where they have been staying since last evening. The administration sent out the notice at 3.30 pm and the students were given until 5 pm to vacate the campus. The students were expecting to get the final email regarding the fee structure for the GoIPMS students by 5 pm but received the notice instead. Students said that many faculty members were also not informed about the campus shutting down, who also condemned the move.
"We believe that this draconian step on part of the protests clearly proves that they are apprehensive about something being revealed," the students said in a statement. Besides student bodies, people like Yogendra Yadav and Rajya Sabha MP, Elamaram Kareem have asked the government to look into the matter.