"PhD Pakode Wali": Ex-DU Professor's Street Cart Protest Against Caste Bias Goes Viral 

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“PhD Pakode Wali”: Ex-DU Professor’s Street Cart Protest Against Caste Bias Goes Viral 

| Updated: March 8, 2024 18:11

Protest Against Caste Bias Goes Viral 

New Delhi: Dr. Ritu Singh, a former ad-hoc professor at Delhi University, was booked by police for allegedly obstructing public movement by setting up a “pakoda” stall outside the university campus.

Dr. Singh, a 28-year-old Dalit woman and former psychology professor, started selling pakodas after protesting for 192 days outside the Arts Faculty. She claimed she faced caste-based discrimination and was illegally terminated from her position at Daulat Ram College in 2019.

“With no job, I took to the streets to sell pakodas and earn a living in the same university that awarded me a degree,” Dr. Singh told The Indian Express. “This is my situation after being wrongfully fired.”

Dr. Singh believes the police booking is an attempt to silence her protest. “There have been several attempts to shut down my voice against the injustice I faced,” she said. “My ‘PhD Pakode Wali’ cart is an extension of my protest. I started it without causing any inconvenience at the Arts Faculty gate where I held my earlier protest.”

She claims police approached her asking for a license for the cart and threatened her to leave. “They could have served a notice politely,” Dr. Singh argued. “Why book me under a criminal case?”

Dr. Singh plans to return to the university on Friday with her mobile cart and make a statement on International Women’s Day. She approached the Delhi High Court in August 2020 after being denied a joining letter.

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