ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Noose around the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Neck

Rohith Vemula’s Death

Rohith Vemula’s death is not a stray case of a life claimed by caste prejudice. Atrocities against Dalits have intensified with the rise of Hindutva forces. While the persecution of Dalit scholars in the recent past has gone relatively unnoticed, the spontaneous outburst at Rohith’s death could portend a new movement against the saffron establishment.

Rohith Vemula’s dream of becoming a science writer like his idol, Carl Sagan, ended abruptly at the altar of caste. But his death has raised hopes of a peoples’ movement to prevent reoccurrence of the circumstances that led to the young scholar’s dreams being crushed. Rohith dropped out from the process of anointment by the casteist establishment as a doctor of philosophy, but his suicide note is nothing short of a philosophical commentary on what it means to be a Dalit. Although this 26-year old son of a landless Dalit mother blamed none, Rohith’s death has exposed the criminality stemming from casteist mindsets.

The agitation by Rohith’s fellow students, the resolute support of their teachers, and national and international outrage have forced the conceited administration to revoke the suspension of Rohith’s four comrades. The students have rejected the administration’s awkward overture and declared their resolve to continue their struggle, until the people responsible, including Smriti Irani, are punished. It is not important if the students are ultimately able to withstand the fascist regime’s might, but what is significant is that the protesting students have set forces in motion for the regime’s decimation. The students, who, in their innocence, greatly contributed to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) win in the last elections have come together to say an emphatic no to its casteist and communal agenda. This has manifested in the complete isolation of the BJP student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), in campuses all over the country.

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