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

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Ramchandra Guha on how Gandhi outgrew his Gujarati bania 'parochialism'

By Rajiv Shah
More than a fortnight ago, prominent historian Ramchandra Guha, who calls himself Gandhi scholar and not a Gandhian, came to Ahmedabad. While I was part of a small group of persons who met him at lunch, his lecture on Gandhi in the evening, where he sought to interpret what swaraj meant to Gandhi, surely, interested the selected audience that had been called to listen to him.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Ironical? Hindutva is all 'fire and spite', as Muslim women become apostles of peace

By Sandeep Pandey*
On January 26, Republic Day, 2020, while protests simmered against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) throughout India, a dozen North American cities also witnessed historic protests. Indian Embassies have been witness to protests in the past. But this time it was different.