Dalit proves point on horseback
Rao Jaswant Singh, TNN, Oct 15, 2010, 02.44am IST
JAIPUR: It was an unusual day at Rajasthan University on Thursday
when a dalit student, Raj Tepan, came on horseback with his supporters
and musical band following him up to the vice chancellor's office.
Reason: Dalit students wanted to prove that the derogatory remarks
made by their 'guru' P D Sharma, who said dalits are not entitled to
ride horses, were absurd.
The professor has since apologized for the remark, but not before the
Dalit students raised a huge shindig. Demanding Sharma's arrest, they
served gave a memorandum to vice-chancellor A D Sawant to withdraw
facilities given to him, including pension and staff residential
Tepan claimed their aim was to teach a lesson to their professor who
still believed that dalit students do not deserve respect in society.
"Considering the remark Sharma made at a seminar, that dalits
shouldn't be allowed to ride a horse, I decided to prove him wrong by
coming to university campus on horseback along with a band," he said.
Student of MA first year, Tepan, who claims to have been present at
the seminar, said it was shocking that faculty members of reputed
institutions had such mindset.
While meeting the vice-chancellor, students demanded that Sharma
should apologize in public as he made remarks in seminar due to which
dalit sentiments were hurt.
A similar memorandum was submitted to circle officer (Gandhi Nagar)
Anil Rao in which they demanded Sharma's arrest within three days.
Student leader Sunil Khatik alleged the police was not taking action
against the guilty teacher and said a case was filed against Sharma
after two days only when students' group met a minister and were
assured about action in the case.
"If he is not arrested within three days, a statewide agitation will
be launched," he warned. With Sharma's apology, the students have
called off the agitation.
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