JAIPUR: It was an unusual day at Rajasthan University on Thursday when a dalit student, Raj Tepan, came on horseback with his supporters and musical band following him up to the vice chancellor’s office. Reason: Dalit students wanted to prove that the derogatory remarks made by their ‘guru’ P D Sharma, who said dalits are not entitled to ride horses, were absurd.
The professor has since apologized for the remark, but not before the Dalit students raised a huge shindig. Demanding Sharma’s arrest, they served gave a memorandum to vice-chancellor A D Sawant to withdraw facilities given to him, including pension and staff residential quarters.
Tepan claimed their aim was to teach a lesson to their professor who still believed that dalit students do not deserve respect in society.
“Considering the remark Sharma made at a seminar, that dalits shouldn’t be allowed to ride a horse, I decided to prove him wrong by coming to university campus on horseback along with a band,” he said.
Student of MA first year, Tepan, who claims to have been present at the seminar, said it was shocking that faculty members of reputed institutions had such mindset.
While meeting the vice-chancellor, students demanded that Sharma should apologize in public as he made remarks in seminar due to which dalit sentiments were hurt.
A similar memorandum was submitted to circle officer (Gandhi Nagar) Anil Rao in which they demanded Sharma’s arrest within three days.
Student leader Sunil Khatik alleged the police was not taking action against the guilty teacher and said a case was filed against Sharma after two days only when students’ group met a minister and were assured about action in the case.
“If he is not arrested within three days, a statewide agitation will be launched,” he warned. With Sharma’s apology, the students have called off the agitation.