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

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.