Skip to main content

Intervention from top Modi ministers in a small case "pressured" Hyderabad Dalit student to commit suicide

Rohith during an ASA students' campaign
By Our Representative
Allegations are flying high that Rohith Vemula, one of the five rusticated Dalit students of the University of Hyedabad, who committed suicide on Sunday, was the direct victim of powerful forces attached with the Sangh Parivar, including a minister of the Narendra Modi government, to suppress them for holding their strong political views.
Found dead hanging in his room in the afternoon, he, along with other four, was sitting on dharna in the campus for 10 days after they were forced to vacate their hostel rooms.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), for instance, believes that the trouble started in August 2015 the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA), a leading student wing, which organised a protest march on the campus against the attack on the Montage Film Society in the Delhi University by Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for screening a documentary movie ‘Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai”, which alleges role of Hindutva outfits in the 2013 riots.
“Local ABVP unit did not like the protests and its leader Susheel Kumar posted a comment on Facebook calling ASA members ‘goons’. He later submitted a written apology. Next morning, Susheel Kumar alleged that about 30 students belonging to the ASA had beaten him up and he had to be hospitalized”, AHRC senior activist Samar says in an article.
Significantly, the University’s Proctorial Board, which conducted an enquiry, said, “The board could not get any hard evidence of beating of Susheel Kumar”, nor could it “link or suggest that the surgery of Susheel Kumar is the direct result of the beating.”
The controversial letter to Smriti Irani
Yet, citing the incident, Bandaru Dattatreya, Secunderabad MP and Union labour and employment minister, declared, in a letter to Smriti Irani, Union minister for human resources and development, that the University of Hyderabad had become a “den of casteist, extremist and anti-national”.
Especially referring to the ASA, the minister’s letter said, “This could be visualised from the fact that, when Yakub Menon was hanged, the dominant students’ union, Ambedkar Students’ Association, held protests against the execution.” It added, “When Sushil Kumar, president, ABVP, protested against this, he was manhandled.”
 Subsequently, a new vice-chancellor was appointed, Prof P Appa Rao, who, without constituting any fresh enquiry, called Executive Council meeting, which decided to suspend the students and expel them from their hostels.
Believes the AHRC activist, “Self-evidently, the Union minister’s ‘intervention’ with the Union human resources and development minister seems to have played an important role in the change in the university administration’s instance.”
“What could have made a Union minister intervene with the ministry of human resources and development in such a ‘small’ case, likes of which keep taking in campuses across the country?” the activist wonders, saying, “Perhaps it was, as Dalits standing up for Muslims, a vulnerable minority, would puncture the politico-ideological narrative that has propelled the present regime to power.”
Rohith’s suicide note says, “May be I was wrong… in understanding love, pain, life, death. There was no urgency. But I always was rushing. Desperate to start a life.” It underlines, “Life itself is curse. My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past.”
Pointing out that he wanted to be a science writer like Carl Sagan, the letter underlines, “The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote. To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of star dust. In every field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living.”

Comments

Anonymous said…
If a student has been expelled/rusticated months ago, he could have preferred an appeal to the concerned authority, gone to the media showing his dalit card which definitely evoked enough response and publicity. Then these so called political parties who in any case have no agenda except to oppose the ruling party would have jumped into the fray and shouted about the intolerance in the country and filled reams of news papers and miles of television/social media footage. What kind of an individual this research scholar is, who does not have the mental fortitude to fight the injustice if any done to him but commits suicide like a lesser mortal.

TRENDING

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.