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

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Robbing Rohith of His Dalitness

The basic question that the Rohith Vemula case raises is about the existence of the rule of law in India. If his mother Radhika Vemula was rich, there would have been no issue about Rohith’s caste and all people named in the FIR for abetting his suicide would have been in jail. But her fault is that she lived off the pittance that Rohith sent her from his paltry fellowship!

This January saw the first anniversary of Rohith Vemula’s martyrdom. Throughout 2016 there were concerted agitations to get justice for Rohith and these efforts still continue. On his first death anniversary (17 January), the Kula Nirmulana Porata Samiti (KNPS), Telangana, which has spearheaded one of these agitations in Hyderabad, had organised a public meeting in the city. After the meeting the KNPS activists accompanying Rohith’s mother Radhika and his younger brother Raja wanted to pay their homage to his shrine in Veliwada in the Shopcom plaza of the Hyderabad Central University (HCU), which was Rohith’s home, along with four of his comrades when they were ousted from their hostels by the university authorities. However, the police did not allow them to enter and instead detained them. They were released several hours later because of public pressure. When Rohith died, the police had filed a first information report (FIR) under the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against Apparao Podile, the controversial vice chancellor of the HCU, Union Minister of Labour Bandaru Dattatreya, and N Sushil Kumar, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) leader, whose false statments had been at the root of the episode, for abetting Rohith’s suicide. The act warrants that the persons are immediately arrested but the police did not do so. They took shelter under the controversy raked up by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) about Rohith’s caste based on the allegation that he was not a Dalit.

Caste of the Cunning

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Updated On : 21st Apr, 2020


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