Today marked Day 165 of Dr. Ritu Singh’s protest against caste-based discrimination at Delhi University (DU). Formerly an ad-hoc teacher in the Psychology department at Daulat Ram College (DRC), Dr. Singh has been protesting outside the Arts Faculty of Delhi University since September 2023, demanding that the Principal of DRC, Dr. Savita Roy, be removed.
सभी साथियों से appeal जल्द protest site पर आएं
Arts Faculty Gate number 4 Delhi University pic.twitter.com/LArs3xzZ0O
— Dr Ritu Singh (@DrRituSingh_) January 9, 2024
Reflecting on her experiences, Dr. Singh recounted instances of casteist behavior and discrimination she faced. She highlighted an incident in November 2019 when Principal Savita Roy used casteist slurs against her during her PhD convocation. Dr. Singh also revealed that despite being selected for a temporary vacancy reserved for the Scheduled Caste (SC) category, she was abruptly terminated in August 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, violating Ministry of Human Resource Development guidelines.
Despite legal battles and complaints filed against Principal Savita Roy, including serious charges under the SC/ST Act, she remains in her position at DRC. Dr. Singh emphasized that the fight against caste-based discrimination is not only hers but also for future generations who may face similar injustices.
Dr. Singh’s agitation against casteism has garnered public attention, prompting a meeting with DU Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh. Demands presented during the meeting included the immediate suspension of Registrar Dr. Vikas Gupta and Principal Dr. Savita Roy, as well as the clarification of the non-advertisement of backlogs for marginalized communities in teaching faculty positions.
Additionally, concerns have been raised about ongoing faculty displacement at DU, with allegations of caste and politically-driven motives. Dr. Singh criticized the displacement process, citing instances where teachers lacking qualifications but having affiliations with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) cadre were hired for permanent positions, displacing experienced faculty members.
As Dr. Ritu Singh continues her protest, the fight against caste discrimination and injustice in educational institutions remains a pressing issue that demands attention and action.