Rohit Vemula, a 26-year-old Ph.D. scholar from Hyderabad Central University in India shocked humanity by ended his own life two years back on 18 January 2016.
The traditional caste system still has a 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.
The content of his emotional suicide note is so touching and sad that makes us rethink about a life of love and compassion. The suicide note is making headlines since his sad surrender to the ‘tribal thinking’ society of India.
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 the 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 center 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 Ph.D. 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 an impact on the insensitive folks.
Rohith Vemula suicide is a shame to his society and their systems. He has not committed 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 society has become! Ego has become bigger than somebody’s life.
The loss of Rohit Vemulas and his last words should make every human being realize that life is the most precious and important than any religion, caste, and beliefs. Religious hatred and inhuman behavior are rising rapidly and similar cases of hate deaths are ubiquitous in India at present.
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.
“We have enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.” ~ Jonathan Swift