Young Dalit PhD scholar Rohith Vemula hangs self

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Taking the entire responsibility and bearing of his acts on himself, Rohith Vemula – a 26 year old PhD scholar from the Hyderabad Central University (HCU)- was found hanging in his hostel room on Monday morning. “I feel a growing gap between my soul and body. And I have become a monster”, is what he wrote as a part of his suicide note.

V Rohith was among the five research scholars expelled who were suspended by the central university administration after a squabble with a student leader in August last year.

“In August last year, the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA), along with Ambedkar Reading Group, University of Delhi, Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, IIT Madras, ASA (TISS) in Mumbai and concerned students from IIT Bombay issued a joint statement condemning an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) attack on screening of Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hain. Later, ASA’s University of Hyderabad chapter organised a protest demonstration”, reports the First Post. He, along with others, was allegedly falsely accused of assault.

His suicide instigated the students to gather around the campus in protest and iterate the filing of a case under SC/ST Atrocity Act against the Union Minister and BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya. They accused Dattatreya of asking the HRD ministry to take action against the five scholars including Rohith. The news of his suicide comes 12 days after he was expelled from the college along with four others. After the then VC’s retirement, a new chancellor-  Apparao – was appointed. Without giving the situation much thought, Apparao expelled the students on receiving a letter from the HRD ministry.

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Terming the suspension as ‘undemocratic’ and a ‘social boycott’, the members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) told how the five research scholars were denied access to the hostels on the campus except the classrooms and workshops related to their subject of study. Their living spaces were locked by the hostel administration and were forced to sleep in the makeshift tent on the campus.

JAC further added how hurt Rohith was due to the social boycott and casteism. His body has been sent for postmortem, said police.

Following is the complete letter signed by Rohith before hanging himself using the blue banner of ASA. (The letter has been published as is.)

Good morning,
I would not be around when you read this letter. Don’t get angry on me. I know some of you truly cared for me, loved me and treated me very well. I have no complaints on anyone. It was always with myself I had problems. I feel a growing gap between my soul and my body. And I have become a monster. I always wanted to be a writer. A writer of science, like Carl Sagan. At last, this is the only letter I am getting to write.

I always wanted to be a writer. A writer of science, like Carl Sagan.
I loved Science, Stars, Nature, but then I loved people without knowing that people have long since divorced from nature. Our feelings are second handed. Our love is constructed. Our beliefs colored. Our originality valid through artificial art. It has become truly difficult to love without getting hurt.
The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote. To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of star dust. In very field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living.

I am writing this kind of letter for the first time. My first time of a final letter. Forgive me if I fail to make sense.

My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past.
May be I was wrong, all the while, in understanding world. In understanding love, pain, life, death. There was no urgency. But I always was rushing. Desperate to start a life. All the while, some people, for them, life itself is curse. My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past.

I am not hurt at this moment. I am not sad. I am just empty. Unconcerned about myself. That’s pathetic. And that’s why I am doing this.

objects in mirror are (never) closer than they appear. (From Rohit’s Facebook Wall)
objects in mirror are (never) closer than they appear. (From Rohit’s Facebook Wall)
People may dub me as a coward. And selfish, or stupid once I am gone. I am not bothered about what I am called. I don’t believe in after-death stories, ghosts, or spirits. If there is anything at all I believe, I believe that I can travel to the stars. And know about the other worlds.

If you, who is reading this letter can do anything for me, I have to get 7 months of my fellowship, one lakh and seventy five thousand rupees. Please see to it that my family is paid that. I have to give some 40 thousand to Ramji. He never asked them back. But please pay that to him from that.12487095_10156329841080315_1319418043815133185_o

Let my funeral be silent and smooth. Behave like I just appeared and gone. Do not shed tears for me. Know that I am happy dead than being alive.

“From shadows to the stars.”

Uma anna, sorry for using your room for this thing.

To ASA family, sorry for disappointing all of you. You loved me very much. I wish all the very best for the future.

For one last time,

Jai Bheem

I forgot to write the formalities. No one is responsible for my this act of killing myself.
No one has instigated me, whether by their acts or by their words to this act.
This is my decision and I am the only one responsible for this.
Do not trouble my friends and enemies on this after I am gone.

 

Source  : First Post, Huffington Post.