ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Indian Institute of TechnologySubscribe to Indian Institute of Technology

Rohith Vemula: Foregrounding Caste Oppression in Indian Higher Education Institutions

In April 2021, a professor from the Indian Institute of Technology verbally abused students belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. The incident brought to the fore conversations around caste and education. One is instantly reminded of how five years before this incident, in 2016, Rohith Vemula, a Dalit PhD scholar at the University of Hyderabad, died by suicide. Between 2016 and 2021 itself, India lost several students belonging to Dalit and Bahujan communities to suicide as a result of caste-based discrimination. That elite Indian higher education institutions practise caste-based discrimination is nothing new. But Vemula’s death sparked a political movement. This reading list attempts to understand how and why this came to be.

Regurgitative Violence

The violence against marginalised students by a teacher at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur is intrinsically related to the Brahminic cultural psyche of elite higher education institutions in India. It stands as testimony that post-independence India’s modern secular education has failed to replace caste as an institution to build “character” in terms of the capacity for living with others. The vitality rather than the ideology of caste is the subject of this analysis, tracing the historical and social formation of these elite institutions and caste in them.

 

IIT Reforms: Improving International Rankings are Not Enough

A lack of funding, political sway and a narrow focus towards education hamper the growth of the Indian Institutes of Technology.
Back to Top