Published: 05th November 2021
STEM researchers, academics express solidarity for MGU scholar Deepa Mohanan who's on a hunger strike
Deepa has been specifically demanding the removal of Dr Nandakumar Kalarikkal from the position of the Director of MGU's Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
A number of STEM researchers and academics have come in support, openly expressing solidarity with Deepa P Mohanan, a PhD scholar of Kerala's Mahatma Gandhi University. Deepa has been on a hunger strike against the university and its administration since October 30, alleging caste-based discrimination.
"As scientists, administrators, science writers, communicators, journalists, artists and other members of the Indian science ecosystem who are committed to a just and inclusive scientific community, we know that casteism has made the climate of scientific research hostile to Dalit, Adivasi, Bahujan and/or Muslim scientists. In standing with Deepa and condemning the egregious casteism she has faced, we also recognise that our community has failed Dalit and other marginalised scholars in general," the statement reads. Deepa has been specifically demanding the removal of Dr Nandakumar Kalarikkal from the position of the Director of MGU's Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.
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"We have failed to hold individuals and institutions accountable for the casteism deeply entrenched in the Indian scientific establishment, as evident from the severe underrepresentation of Bahujan scholars in academic science at the faculty level and the rampant and unchecked harm committed by oppressor caste faculty members and peers towards the Bahujan scholars who do work in our scientific fields," reads the statement. While Deepa was hospitalised a few days ago, she says that she has multiple health issues, including anaemia.