A 26-year-old PhD scholar from Hyderabad Central University, India rejected the society and challenged the humanity by ended his own life on 18 January 2016.
He left behind a suicide note and below is the full text of Rohith Vemula’s letter.
The traditional caste system still has strong influence over India’s Hindu population. At the bottom of the caste hierarchy are groups known as Dalits, who were traditionally given jobs considered ritually impure, such as rubbish collection, street sweeping, the cremation of dead bodies, and the disposal of human waste. People unfortunate to be born into a family deemed Dalit have been battling prejudice and discrimination which they face daily.
Two weeks earlier, Rohith Vemula and four of his friends, all belong to the lower and discriminated class of Hindu society and associated with their campus political group called the Ambedkar Students Association, had thrown out of their hostel rooms after being suspended by the university administration . Rohith and his friends were entangled in a rivalry with the student wing of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on the campus. The rivalry led to the formation of an inquiry committee by the vice chancellor under pressure of ruling party.
The students accuse that they are forced to follow the saffronisation propaganda of ruling BJP party and say they were allowed to attend classes and other academic sessions, but were barred from entering the hostels and common areas in groups and participating in student union elections. Lacking the means to afford private housing, they camped in front of the university shopping centre and started a hunger strike protesting against their “social boycott”. They called their camp Velivada – Dalit Ghetto.
Rohith Vemula born in a very poor family and was surviving on his scholarship for his Phd studies, the scholarship was also stopped by the college administration which was the only support for him and his family. He also wrote a letter to the college administration(full text are given in below pics) expressing his anxiety and vulnerability but unfortunately failed to make any impact on the insensitive folks.
Rohith Vemula suicide is a shame to his society and their systems. He has not committed a suicide but it has to be considered as a deliberate murder of an individual by the group of people who still believe in horrible and redundant caste system and discriminate young students, who are the future of their country. How cruel the society has become! Ego has become stronger then somebody’s life.
His last words realize us that no religion is bigger than the humanity.
The university was rocked by protests soon after Rohith’s suicide, with angry students saying it was yet another case of discrimination against Dalits on campus. Later the protests spread to Delhi, a group of students from a leading Jawahar Lal Nehru University in the capital protested for Rohith Vemula and unfortunately they were brutally beaten and forced back.
Coincidentally at present the same protesters are accused of an “anti national” movement in JNU campus. The student union president is in judicial custody on the charges of being “Antinational and Terrorist Supporters” and other members are hiding and on a run from state police. There are wide spread protests and left the whole country in turmoil.