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

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

BSF should take full responsibility for death of 4 kids in West Bengal: Rights defender

By Kirity Roy*  One is deeply disturbed and appalled by the callous trench-digging by BSF in Chetnagachh village under Daspara Gram Panchayat, Chopra, North Dinajpur District, West Bengal that has claimed the lives of four children. Along the entire stretch of Indo-Bangladesh border of West Bengal instead of guarding the actual border delineated by the international border pillars, BSF builds fences and digs trenches well inside the Indian territory, passing through villages and encroaching on private lands, often without due clearance or consent. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Social justice day amidst 'official neglect' of salt pan workers in Little Rann of Kutch

By Prerana Pamkar*  In India’s struggle for Independence, the Salt Satyagraha stands as a landmark movement and a powerful symbol of nonviolent resistance. Led by Mahatma Gandhi, countless determined citizens walked from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Gujarat. However, the Gujarat which witnessed the power of the common Indian during the freedom struggle is now in the throes of another significant movement: this time it is seeking to free salt pan workers from untenable working conditions in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK).

How GMOs would destroy non-GMO crops: Aruna Rodrigues' key submissions in SC

Counterview Desk The introduction of Bt and HT crops will harm the health of 1 billion Indians and their animals, believes Aruna Rodrigues, who has made some 60 submissions to the Supreme Court (SC) during the last 20 years. As lead petitioner who filed Public Interest Litigation in 2005, during a spate of intense hearings, which ended on 18 January 2024, she fought in the Apex Court to prevent the commercialization of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Indian agriculture. 

Jallianwala massacre: Why Indian govt hasn't ever officially sought apology from UK

By Manjari Chatterjee Miller*  The king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, apologized in July 2023 for his ancestors’ role in the colonial slave trade. He is not alone in expressing remorse for past wrongs. In 2021, France returned 26 works of art seized by French colonial soldiers in Africa – the largest restitution France has ever made to a former colony. In the same year, Germany officially apologized for its 1904-08 genocide of the Herero and Nama people of Namibia and agreed to fund reconstruction and development projects in Namibia. .

Interpreting UAPA bail provisions: Is Supreme Court setting the clock back?

By Kavita Srivastava*, Dr V Suresh** The Supreme Court in its ruling on 7th February, 2024 in   `Gurvinder Singh v State of Punjab’ held that its own well-developed jurisprudence that "Bail is the rule and jail the exception" will not apply to those charged under the UAPA.

Will Budget 2024 help empower city govts, make them India's growth engines?

By Soumyadip Chattopadhyay, Arjun Kumar* Cities in India are envisioned as engines of growth. Any meaningful long-term vision for India would be incomplete without planning for the cities and quite rightly, urbanization is considered as one of the country’s top developmental challenges. Realization of full potential of cities depends crucially on their ability to provide ‘enabling’ environment especially in terms of sustained provision of a wide range of urban infrastructure and services.

A 'distorted narrative' of Indian politics: Congress failing to look beyond LS polls

By Prem Singh*  About 15 days ago, I told a senior journalist friend that there are not even two   months left for the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi is roaming around on a delectation (tafreeh). The friend probably found my comment exasperating and replied that he is not on a delectation trip. The conversation between us on this topic ended there.