SFI expresses its solidarity to Aroh Akunth of AUD

SFI expresses its solidarity and support to Aroh Akunth, a Dalit Queer student from the School of Human Studies, Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) who has been compelled to drop his course due to blatant institutionalized discrimination and absence of any redressal forum in the institution named after crusader of social justice and human rights, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. In AUD, a second-year student is eligible to be promoted to the next year if they have passed 14 courses, Aroh had passed 12, failed one and had challenged the results of three courses. The course coordinator refused to accept his assignment because it was handwritten and then went on to remark and question his Dalit and Queer identity multiple times. The teacher deliberately failed him despite knowing that not grading his report for being handwritten (because the working system wasn’t accessible to him at that time) can result in failing the year.
In order to look into the ordeal, the Dean of School Undergraduate Studies constituted a four-member internal committee but constituted at least two teachers from the same department as the teacher in question. No students and Dalit representation were allowed to be the part of the internal committee. In addition to this, one faculty member was on the two of the committees instituted to investigate his case. The University has no SC/ST and equal opportunity cell as mandated by the UGC to address the bullying and discrimination of students coming from oppressed backgrounds. Also, there is no policy which governs the constitution of such internal committee and it is all left to the “discretionary powers” of the Dean. Following the protest by students, Akunth was called to a room and asked to repeat his second year or to leave AUD altogether.
SFI stands resolute to fight against the rampant institutionalized discrimination and harassment faced by the students from marginalised communities in our campuses and extends its unconditional support to Akunth in his fight against the unjust system.


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