The media and the politicians said with one voice that Rohith Vemula, the research scholar who committed suicide, was a Dalit and the discrimination shown against him led to his suicide. They accused the Modi government of killing a Dalit student and even went to the extent of celebrating Modi government’s supposed loss of Dalit vote bank, which they all felt has fallen into their kitty. His death triggered dark tourism, as part of which many politicians, who smelled an opportunity to score some political brownie points, made a beeline to the University of Hyderabad campus. Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal enjoyed the first mover advantage in all this drama. They all accused two union ministers, namely Bandaru Dattatreya and Smriti Irani for driving Rohith to suicide and even went to the extent of terming the suicide as a cold-blooded murder.
It is indeed unfortunate that a student who entered a university with the expectations of bright future took the extreme step of taking his own life. As the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stated, irrespective of the politics that was played out, a mother has lost her son. It is extremely difficult for a mother to digest the death of a grown up and well-educated son.
The fact of the matter is, for the media and the politicians in our country, deaths are of two categories. Profitable deaths and unprofitable deaths. Profitable deaths are those which give them an opportunity to play politics and improve their TRP ratings. There are many deaths in our country, which are not considered to be profitable like the deaths of farmers, soldiers, and the suicides of students who belong to the so-called upper castes. And the death of Sawan Rathod, who was doused with petrol and set fire immediately after he revealed his religion, is not at all a profitable death. The same is the case with riots. Only some riots are ‘communal’ and therefore, are profitable. Some other riots like that happened in Malda, are ‘secular’ in nature and therefore not profitable. So the vultures land only where there is a cadaver.
Many students are committing suicide in our country for various reasons. However, only Rohith Vemula’s case has been highlighted. Because it is a profitable death. His death is profitable for two reasons. The first is his identity of being a Dalit and the second is his association with Commies. Comrade Vemula’s death would not have attracted this much attention had he not been a Commie. The mainstream media, which is full of people with left leanings, gave disproportionately heavy coverage to his death thus making it a major issue pertaining to the discrimination against Dalits. However, his Dalit identity is disputed and according to the latest reports his social status as a ‘dalit’ is very much questionable.
From what is being reported in the press and the social media, a series of incidents led to his suicide. On 2nd August 2015, a group of students, who were associated with Ambedkar Students Association (ASA), protested against the execution of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict, Yakub Memon. They even offered ‘Namaz’ and displayed placards featuring the slogans “Tum Kitne Yakub Maroge, Har Ghar Se Yakub Nikalega.” (How many Yakubs will you kill? Every household will produce a Yakub) “Hey Yakub! Tere Khoon Se Inquilab Niklega.” These were the slogans they gave and displayed. So what do they think? If every household in India starts producing a Yakub Memon, will the near and dear ones of the members of ASA remain safe? It was an extremely provocative and dangerous behavior on the part of Ambedkar Students Association (ASA). They openly displayed their contempt for India and their love and respect for a convicted terrorist who was responsible for the death of scores of Indians. It all happened in the name of Freedom of Expression, and according to reports, Rohith Vemula was one among them.
Many people hesitated to term it as an anti-national activity. The newspapers which kept harping on his Dalit status made a concerted attempt to conceal this fact. Many facts would have been buried had it not been for the presence of social media. The rich tributes that were paid to Yakub Memon by the members of ASA, was the root cause of all the commotion on the campus. However, any right thinking person, who loves his/her motherland, would not hesitate to call the actions of ASA as sheer traitorousness. It is extremely unfortunate that the people who are born and brought up in India have turned so ungrateful towards the country and turned hostile to it. They not only sang paeans of praise to a terrorist but also made a brazen attempt to make a martyr out of him, which was indeed shameful.
A student called Susheel Kumar, who is associated with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) objected to their blatantly anti-national activities and registered his strong protest through his facebook post. And that was what exactly infuriated the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) and they all swooped on the student in a midnight raid and manhandled him and even went to the extent of forcing him to write an apology letter. The student who was at the receiving end was even hospitalized.
What exactly enabled them to grow so audacious that they physically assaulted their fellow student? According to some reliable sources of information, which the mainstream media would not cover, the UOH has become a hotbed for Maoists. There was some discussion as to why the Chief Minister of Telangana did not visit the campus even while many other politicians were making a beeline to it. A journalist associated with NDTV tweeted that the intelligence agencies have informed the Chief Minister that Maoist literature has been found in the university hostels and advised him against visiting the university.
— Uma Sudhir (@umasudhir) January 28, 2016
The common knowledge is wherever there are Maoists there are Islamists also. Because they are Siamese twins. That is the reason why the members of Ambedkar Students Association, who are not Muslims, offered ‘namaz’ to pay tribute to Yakub Memon. Even after Rohit’s death, Asaduddin Owaisi, who is a leader of AIMIM, the descendent of the rabidly anti-Hindu Islamists called ‘Razakars’, rushed to the university to express his solidarity to the students of ASA. So the students are being indoctrinated and radicalized by two dangerous entities. One is Maoism and the other is Islamism. It is a deadly cocktail and it is to this deadly cocktail Rohit Vemula fell prey to.
The man, who was born in a poor family, entered into a university with the expectation of finding himself a bright future. But he was indoctrinated and radicalized. He was transformed into a rabidly anti-Hindu bigot who wouldn’t hesitate to tear down anything and everything that appears in saffron colour. In the process, he attracted the criticism of being a rage boy. He was part of a mob, which attacked their ideological adversary and in the process attracted the inevitable wrath of the university authorities and even the judiciary.
It appears that the ASA, which had shown over enthusiasm in pushing Rohith to take direct action against his ideological adversaries, did not assist him when it came to dealing with the backlash. In fact, that is what happens with many radical outfits. They push their members to take direct action but they don’t support them when they face the consequences. There are news reports and even some discussion in the social media that Rohit was not happy with his ideological associates and that was the main reason behind his depression and his eventual suicide. Facts will come to light slowly and this is still far from an open and shut case. There is no surprise even if his death brings out some incredible facts to light.
The suicide note left by Rohith was indeed poignant and it is very much apparent that he suffered intense depression which led to his suicide. It was very unfortunate that none of his ideological associates could read the suicidal tendencies in him.
Nobody opposed his right to freedom and his right to propagate his ideology. The problem was his extreme kind of hostility towards his ideological adversaries and his physical assault against his fellow students. Only a thoroughly indoctrinated and radicalized man can behave like a rage boy or a hooligan. His behaviour caused him the problems. His suicide should become a lesson for other students, especially Dalit students, who come to universities in the expectation of securing a bright future. They should run their Dalit movement in such a way that they don’t fall into the well-laid trap of Maoists and Islamists. Otherwise, it won’t take much time before their movement goes into oblivion.
It appears that the media and the politicians don’t want to leave the opportunity and have decided to go for a kill. They feel that this is a great opportunity for them to corner Modi government and bag all the Dalit vote bank. Moreover, they all feel that this is a godsend opportunity for them to stall the upcoming parliament session. However, they might have failed to realize the fact that the more they try to exploit the situation, the more they get exposed. The only solution to this problem is to stop treating deaths either as profitable or unprofitable and stop playing vote bank politics. Human life is precious and all lives should be treated on par. Otherwise, the day is not far away when the people, who feel disgusted with the filthy cadaver politics, will teach a bitter lesson to politicians like Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal.
This kind of hostile caste politics that are being played out will eventually work against the very interests of the Dalits. If each and every incident is given a caste colour, the authorities of Indian universities, in future, won’t be able to muster up enough courage to act against the people who indulge in anti-national activities and hooliganism, and as a result, the academic environment in the universities will get vitiated. If this trend continues, even the business organizations will hesitate to hire people from Dalit communities, fearing the prospect of facing the accusation of caste discrimination. The whole thing will eventually work against the interests of Dalits. So it is up to the leaders who are leading the Dalit movements to decide whether they want to fall into the trap of Maoists and Islamists and discredit their movement.