All-India Feminist Sisterhood and Solidarity with Radhika Vemula

Radhika Vemula

Dear Radhika garu,

Jai Bhim. We, the undersigned members of the All-India Feminist Alliance (ALIFA), write to express our unwavering support and solidarity with you, as you are forced to undertake yet another struggle to challenge the erasure of Rohith’s identity. We share your pain and anguish, while we also salute your spirit to march onwards for justice and dignity, for Rohith, for yourself, for all Dalits in the country.

The recent development of the Telangana police filing a ‘closure report’, wrongfully stating that Rohith is not Dalit is an affront to his life, his struggle as a brilliant scholar, his Ambedkarite principles, his resistance to Brahmanical oppression, and the harrowing circumstances in which his institutional murder took place. This regressive report undermines his memory and dishonours the tireless pursuit by you, as his brave mother, his family, students and friends, in seeking justice and dignity for Rohith. 

Rohith’s ‘death’ is a stark reminder of the systemic injustices and deep-seated discrimination and violence that Dalits continue to endure, despite constitutional safeguards, and this police report is yet another manifestation of that oppression. The attempt to erase Rohith’s Dalit identity is not just a denial of his life and experiences; it is a denial of the struggles faced by you and millions of Dalits across our country. It insults their dignity, their aspirations, and their right to justice. 

Radhika garu, your strong determination to ensure that Rohith’s life, struggle and memory is not tarnished and that his legacy of resistance lives on, is a testament to your strength and resilience. As ‘Mothers for Nation’ – along with Fatima Nafees (Najeeb’s mother), Abida Tadvi (Dr. Payal Tadvi’s mother) and so many others – your relentless pursuit of justice in the face of unimaginable challenges and humiliation, inspires us all. We stand in awe and respect of your courage and commitment, and would like to state that we are with you, every step of the way.

Owing to widespread student and public outrage and your meeting with the Chief Minister a few days back, the state police has clarified its decision to investigate the case further, with permission from the Court. In this situation, we call upon the authorities to conduct a thorough and fair inquiry. We demand that Rohith’s Dalit identity be acknowledged and respected and all those responsible for his ‘death’, including former VC of the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) and those in high positions of power in the BJP-led Central Government, be brought to justice.

As has been promised by the Congress Govt repeatedly and even recently, we demand that the Rohith Vemula Act be passed, in order to safeguard the right to education, non-discrimination, safety and dignity of students from Dalit, adivasi, OBC backgrounds as well as students from religious minorities and gender marginalisations. Perpetrators of crimes against all these students must be punished as per Rohith Act.

Dear Radhika garu: As you continue your fight for justice, please know that you are not alone. You are fighting for millions of youth across India. And millions of people across India are with you. As feminists, we stand with you in your constant efforts at affirming Rohith’s and your struggle against caste-based discrimination, seeking a fair investigation and action towards justice and accountability.  We are with you, shoulder to shoulder, in solidarity and sisterhood. Together, we shall overcome.  

From shadows to the stars! Rohith Vemula Amar Rahe!

Jai Bhim, Jai Savitri!

In feminist solidarity and sisterhood,

Feminists from across movements, across India

1.    Abha, Feminist Activist, Himachal Pradesh

2.    Ajitha George, Omon Mahila Sanghatan, West Singhbhum, Jharkhand

3.    Adv Albertina Almeida, Feminist, Human Rights Advocate, Goa

4.    Amala Dasarathi, Law Researcher, Delhi

5.    Ambika, Social Activist, Telangana

6.    Ammu Abraham, Feminist Activist, Mumbai

7.    Anannya Chatterjee, Student and Feminist Researcher, Artist, New Delhi

8.    Anjali, Yuva Shakti, Telangana

9.    Anita Cheria, Feminist Activist, Karnataka

10. Arundhati Dhuru, NAPM, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

11. Ashalatha Siddabatula, Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch (MAKAAM), Telangana

12. Ashwini, Health Rights Researcher, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh  

13. Babitha PS, Feminist Activist, Kerala

14. Chayanika Shah, Queer Feminist Activist, Mumbai

15. Deepti Sirla, Queer, Anti-Caste Feminist Activist, Telangana

16. Devanshi Srivastava, Feminist Researcher, Journalist, Pune

17. Faiza Khan, Filmmaker & Activist, New Delhi

18. Gabriele Dietrich, Penn Urimay Iyakkam, Madurai, ALIFA & NAPM

19. Geeta Seshu, Free Speech Collective, Mumbai

20. Gogu Shyamala, Anti-Caste Feminist Writer, Advocate & Activist, Telangana

21. Gopika, Feminist Researcher, Activist, Bengaluru

22. Hasina Khan, Bebaak Collective, Mumbai

23. Hellen, Trans Rights Activist, Telangana

24. Jarjum Ete, Socio-Political Activist, Arunachal Pradesh

25. Jashodhara Dasgupta, Feminist Researcher and Activist, Uttarakhand

26. Jasmeen Patheja, Feminist Researcher

27. Jayasree Subramanian, Academic, Andhra Pradesh

28. Kausar Jahan, Sangtin Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan, Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh

29. Kavita Srivastava, PUCL, Rajasthan

30. Khairunnisha, Bebaak Collective, Gujarat

31. Madhu Bhushan, Naveddu Nilladiddare, Karnataka

32. Madhuri, Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, Madhya Pradesh

33. Meena Saraswathi Seshu, Feminist & Sex Workers Rights Activist, Maharashtra

34. Meera Sanghamitra, Activist, ALIFA & NAPM, Telangana

35. Mukta Srivastava, Forum Against Oppression of Women, Mumbai FAOW

36. Nandini Rao, Feminist Trainer & Activist, New Delhi,

37. Neetisha Khalkho, Adivasi Rights Activist and Academic, Dhanbad, Jharkhand

38. Nikita, Feminist Activist, New Delhi

39. Nikita Naidu, Climate Justice Activist, Hyderabad

40. Nora, Trans Rights Activist, Hyderabad

41. Poushali Basak, Feminists in Resistance, Kolkata and Mumbai

42. Prakriti, ALIFA & Right to Food Campaign, New Delhi

43. Preeti Oza, Labour Rights Activist, Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat

44. Adv Priyanka, Women’s Rights Lawyer, UP

45. Puja Mandal, Feminist Researcher, Activist, New Delhi

46. Radhika Desai, Feminist, Child Rights Activist, Goa

47. Rahee S. G., Student and Youth Activist (ALIYSA), Maharashtra

48. Ramya Angelina, Feminist Researcher

49. Renuka Kad, Researcher, Activist, Maharashtra

50. Richa Singh, Sangtin Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan, Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh

51. Ritu, Poet & Trans Feminist Activist, Lucknow and Delhi

52. Sagari Ramdas, Food Sovereignty Alliance, Telangana

53. Sajaya Kakarla, Feminist Activist & Independent Journalist, Telangana

54. Shakun Doundiyakhed Feminist Activist, Karnataka

55. Dr. Sanju Sharma, Feminist and Academic, Rajasthan

56. Satyavati Kondaveeti, Feminist Activist, Telangana

57. Adv Shalu Nigam, Advocate and Feminist Researcher, Delhi NCR

58. Sharanya, Indigenous Rights, Social Activist, Koraput, Odisha

59. Shashikala Rai, Hindi Professor & Feminist, Pune

60. Shewli, Anti-caste, Feminist Activist, Mumbai

61. Shilpa Parthan, Researcher, Kerala

62. Shiva, PhD Scholar and ALIYSA – NAPM, New Delhi

63. Shivani Taneja, Madhya Pradesh Mahila Manch, Bhopal

64. Simin Akhter, ALIFA & Common Teachers Forum (CTF), Delhi University

65. Soma KP, Forest Rights Researcher & MAKAAM, New Delhi

66. Sravanthi Dasari, Research Scholar, Telangana

67. Sujata Kindo, Teacher, Feminist Activist, Sundargarh, Odisha

68. Sumitra, Feminist Activist, Ankuram Telangana

69. Suneetha A, Feminist Researcher & Activist, ALIFA

70. Usha Seethalakshmi, Researcher and Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch (MAKAAM), Telangana

71. Utpala Shukla, Feminist Activist, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

72. Vanaja P, National Fish workers Forum (NFF), Tamil Nadu

73. Varsha Bharghavi, Where Are the Women, Telangana

74. Vasundhara Jhobta, Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch (DASAM), New Delhi

75. Vertika Mani, PUCL, New Del

Issued on 9th May, 2024 by All India Feminist Alliance (ALIFA – NAPM)

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