After student leader attacked, BAPSA accuses ABVP of targeting marginalised students

 The students accused the administration of not taking action against the ABVP and also claimed that multiple FIRs had been filed against ABVP members in the past

In the aftermath of the alleged attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students' Association (BAPSA) President Om Prakash Mahato, the student group issued a statement condemning the violence and accusing the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) of being casteist. The BAPSA said that Om and another fellow BAPSA activist had gone to paste posters for a public meeting to commemorate Manyavar Saheb Kashiram, a politician and social reformer’s birth anniversary. The student group accused the ABVP of being responsible for continuous attacks on students, especially those from marginalised sections.

“The violence was clearly in response to BAPSA celebrating assertive, anti-caste thinkers like Manyavar Kanshiram Saheb. The assertive, anti-caste politics of BAPSA poses a strong challenge to Brahmanical forces which ABVP goons cannot digest,” the students’ statement said.

The BAPSA criticised the ABVP for targeting marginalised students, “Those who come to universities and seek education become a threat to the Brahmanical social order which sees the marginalised sections as fit to only serve the Dwijas. The oppositions to reservations and the dedicated efforts to undermine social justice, undermining reservations by pursuing privatisation and upholding the Brahmanical schema of the society are the main aims of the ABVP. This mentality of the ABVP is on full display in their acts of violence which are accompanied by casteist slurs,” the members of BAPSA said. ‘The aim is to drive youth from marginalised communities out of the university and into slavery on their fields, corporate office, construction sites and gutters’, the BAPSA statement read.

The students accused the administration of not taking action against the ABVP and also claimed that multiple FIRs had been filed against ABVP members but the police had also not taken any action. “We condemn the violence of ABVP in the strongest words. We demand that the administration declare the perpetrators out of bounds of the campus to allow students coming from marginalised backgrounds to continue their academics in peace and without any threat. We also demand that Cyclops security should be removed for their utter incompetence and refusal to act against the attackers. As a student association that draws its strength and spirit of resistance from an anti-caste legacy of Babasaheb Ambedkar, Jotiba Phule, Savitribai Phule, Fatima Sheikh, Birsa Munda, Periyar and other anti-caste thinkers, BAPSA will not take this attack without fighting back,” the student group declared.

Other Ambedkarite student groups including the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) from the University of Hyderabad condemned the attack, “We would also like to remind ABVP that Ambedkarite organisations take inspiration from Bahujan icons and we won’t be cowed down by any kind of intimidation,” the ASA said.

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