In the aftermath of Dalit research scholar Rohit Vemula’s suicide in Hyderabad Central University, the baton of protest passed on to Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi and has now reached National Institute of Technology in Srinagar. If it is not handled sensitively it may serve as a tipping point to engulf other universities across India. The fuse that lit for the protest to assume such horrendous proportions was the involvement of opposition political leaders led by the vice president of the Congress Rahul Gandhi and Yechuri of CPI(M) both crushed under the Modi juggernaut in 2014 Lok Sabha elections to regain some semblance of their severely denuded vote bank. With assembly election on in Assam and West Bengal and with three state assembly elections due in near future, for Modi led NDA government it is a hurdle race that must be won if BJP has to remain relevant. There are hopeful signs in Assam while BJP can gain a foothold in West Bengal as surveys indicate but the real challenge will be in Uttar Pradesh.
H R Bapu Satyanarayana, Mysuru