Protest Against Brahmanical Forces and Institutional Murder of Rohith Vemula at Kolkata Book Fair

A small but spirited protest on Rohith Vemula’s institutional murder by the BJP/Sangh Parivar and Brahmanical forces took place inside the premises of the Kolkata Book Fair today. The protest was planned by the Joint Action for Social Justice (Preparatory Committee – West Bengal), consisting of representatives of several organizations as well as individual activists. It is to be noted that Joint Action Committees on this issue are being formed across the country.

About 20 to 30 activists and other individuals gathered near Little Magazine stall around 5.30 pm with posters that held the caste system and caste based discriminations as well as the Hindutva forces responsible for Rohith’s death. Songs, slogans and short speeches addressing the floating crowd stressed on the prevalent state of society in which oppression against Dalits and other marginalized peoples in the name of caste is an everyday affair.

Demands for legal action against those from the ruling party who were directly involved in Rohith’s institutional murder were raised as well. A leaflet prepared by the committee also raised similar objections and demands while giving some detailed facts about the nature of oppression on Dalits or others in the name of caste.

Special mention was made of Chuni Kotal who had to commit suicide in 1992 (i.e. during CPM rule) because of caste based discrimination. Later on, some of the activists formed a rally and went around the fair grounds, distributing leaflets and shouting slogans. Some of those in the rally wanted to stand outside the BJP stall and do the demonstration but there was disagreement over this.

The rally ended near the Little Magazine stall where it was declared that a meeting will be held on behalf of this committee, the tentative location and date being East Library, Sealdah and 9th February respectively, to discuss further programs on the issue.

Written by Kishalaya Mukherjee. Edited by Manisha 


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