Untouchability is Real: Dalit Professor Dr. Ritu Singh Faces Discrimination at Delhi Uni.

  • Untouchability is abolished as per Article 17, Indian Constitution.
  • The Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955 officially outlaws untouchability, making it a crime to enforce its discriminatory practices.
  • This Act was designed to abolish untouchability, dismantling its discriminatory foundations and promoting an inclusive society.
  • The Act introduced a punitive measure of imprisonment for up to six months or a financial penalty of ₹500 for individuals convicted of upholding untouchability for their first transgression.
  • Those who continue to practice untouchability are liable to imprisonment and/or a financial penalty, and the severity of their punishment may be increased upon further offenses.

Dr. Ritu Singh, formerly an ad-hoc professor in the Psychology department at Delhi University was expelled from the college due to caste-based discrimination by principal Savita Roy. After teaching as an Assistant Professor for about a year, the principal accused Ritu Singh of misconduct in the class and dissatisfaction among the students and expelled her. On the other hand, the teacher argued that she never taught the students whose names were mentioned on paper by the principal of her college.

She has been protesting against this injustice for more than four months now. According to the Dr. Ritu Singh, she faced constant humiliation, push-back and expulsion from her post due to her Dalit (SC) identity.

As Dr. Ritu Singh was protesting against casteism, particularly against Principal Savita Roy, there was vandalism and violent opposition at the protest site. The university authorities have allegedly locked the university gate to prevent her from entering the campus and have been ‘cleaning’ the protest site.

Untouchability is being practiced wide open at Campus:

Placing a banner featuring a picture of a Hindu god, Ram and using cow urine to clean the protest site shows a ruthless display of casteism by the authorities.

Mehmood Pracha, Supreme Court advocate, added to the post, “How will a space become impure if Dr. Ritu sits down? the banners we displayed were removed by the authorities because they still consider us and Babasaheb as untouchables.”

Ritu Singh urged the people of her community to come together, help her show collective strength through sheer numbers and prove that the university is not a space only for oppressors. She also emphasized that there was a hike in college fees so that one group of people with social and financial capital could afford to study. She added, ” You need to realize that not only my house is burning, but the entire forest is on fire.”

Dr. Singh accused the university vice-chancellor is an RSS advocate on the campus, and by his command, many casteist activities have been taking place on the campus.

Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad joined the supporters rallying in favour of terminated teacher Ritu Singh on Friday, 19th Jan.

During the protest, Delhi Police briefly detained Chandrashekhar Azad and some students from Delhi University and later released them.

A few DU students participating in the march on Friday stated that they had come to extend support and stand with Dr. Ritu Singh in her fight against injustice.

As the situation escalated, Delhi Police apprehended Dr. Ritu Singh. The Delhi police also forcefully removed Protest tents and personal belongings of demonstrators at the protest site outside the Arts faculty within the DU campus.

Supreme Court advocate Mehmood Pracha has claimed that they have filed a case for the vandalism and looting of the protest site. Another complaint will be on the random imposition of Section 144, leading to the detainment of many demonstrators.

Police have enforced section 144 at the protest site, prohibiting gathering more than 4-5 people at a time. Principal Savita Roy was allowed to leave the country after a charge sheet was against her.

All these developments show how a woman from a marginalized Dalit community is not allowed to protest peacefully and how casteism is still very prevalent in educational institutions across the country.

This whole episode reminds us Rohith Vemula’s incident. The administration of the universities are nothing but the Agraharas and they are not allowing Dalit, Adivasi students to complete their education.

Lets stand with Dr. Ritu Singh and fight for the justice before its too late.