HYDERABAD: Following the nationwide protests after the suicide of UoH scholar Rohith Vemula on Sunday, noted poet Ashok Vajpeyi on Tuesday announced that he would return his D.Litt award given by University of Hyderabad to protest against the aniti-Dalit attitude of the university administration.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Vajpeyi said, “A Dalit student, Rohith Vemula, who wanted to be a writer was driven to commit suicide due to anti-Dalit and intolerance of dissent shown. I have decided to return the award in protest against university authorities, (who were) presumably acting under political pressure.”
Rohith, who committed suicide on Sunday night, was among the five research scholars who were suspended by the University in August last year and also one of the accused in the case of assault on a student leader. They were also kept out of the hostel.
The former Lalit Kala Akademi chairman, who was awarded D.Litt (Doctor of Letters, honoris causa) by the University of Hyderabad few years ago, said the institution has “acted against human dignity and knowledge.” However, this is not the first time that he returned his award to support social movements.
In fact, he was one of the first to return his Sahitya Akademi award to the government criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not speaking up against various incidents of violence against writers.