Rohith Vemula’s suicide took the nation by storm. A wave of outrage that began on January 17 when the news of his suicide broke along with his intellectually worded suicide note. Since then, the social media and the mainstream media have been all about the issue, giving due exposure any such story deserves.
And then, there were elements in place.
It was a prestigious central university – University of Hyderabad.
A Dalit research scholar had committed suicide in an educational institution where other eight Dalit students, alleging caste discrimination, had committed suicide in the past decade.
Rohith’s letters blamed his university and social institutions.
Then there were letters by a union minister from BJP and from a central government ministry, Human Resources Development, led by Smriti Irani, in the case pressurizing the university administration to take action against Rohith Vemula and some other students for their alleged assault on an Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad leader (ABVP).
So, there was this angle of student politics – touching the chords of national politics – in a metro city that is one of India’s Information-Technology capitals.
And above all, there was this angle of Dalit Vs non-Dalit angle.
So, even if was a horror, that a young student was forced to commit suicide due to administrative apathy, social disparity and political interference, all elements were in place for every stakeholder, including politicians, to squeeze the mileage that would suit them.
Yes, apart from social media and media outrage, and the subsequent social mobilization, it is pure politics.
And why it is pure politics becomes clear from yet another social horror.
Three students of an allied medial college in Villupuram, a Tamil Nadu district, committed suicide by jumping in a well because they had lost all hopes for their future as the college that had promised them a rosy future had duped them of their families’ savings. They alleged in their suicide note that the college administration had imparted no skills in almost first two years of their college and there were no facilities to train them. The college was busy in looting them, and at the same time, was killing the students by denying them their option to earn livelihood.
The students wrote in their suicide note that they were committing suicide hoping that it would draw attention to their plight. Another girt student from the same college committed suicide later.
These students were Dalit as well.
Yes, we cannot and we should not compare but it was another horror after Rohith Vemula’s suicide that should have rightly driven us mad on the sorry state of affairs in the our higher educational institutions.
But it didn’t happen after the initial social media and media fury – and why?
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/