These are sad times for India. Rohith Vemula, a Dalit, committed suicide on January 16, 2016 due to gross injustice done by Hyderabad University bosses and BJP central ministers. The State, its police organ and BJP rulers instead of looking into the injustice done to him and showing any sympathy with the cause and the ‘killed’ young scholar started a sinister denigration campaign against the dead, his family and his mental health. He was alleged to be a ‘Maoist’, ‘anti-national’ and BJP even got a commission formed to check his status of being a Dalit (as if suicide of non-Dalits is no-issue). Rohith’s protesting family and his friends were arrested innumerable times instead of penalizing the wrong-doers who forced him to lay down his life. They State specially the Centre saw to it that his grievances posted in his suicide note are not addressed and become a non-issue.
Same thing is happening to Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal who after serving 30 years in the Indian Army and fed-up with the RSS/BJP government on the issue of OROP and after failing to meet concerned minister decided to end his life this week by consuming poison in the heart of Delhi where ruling elite lives to ‘serve’ India. Like Rohith a powerful disinformation campaign has been launched against the Subedar. Since he was not from a university so it is difficult to tag him as ‘Maoist’ and was in the army for three decades so cannot be described as ‘anti-national’, his mental state is being questioned, his sacrifice is being denigrated as ‘selfish’, not for OROP cause but for ‘4 anna’. He is being referred to as ‘Congress’ leader as if suicide of a Congress leader should not be bothered. In the case of suicide of Subedar too Delhi police under the direct supervision of Modi government not only got physical with the grieving family of Subedar but arrested all those political leaders, including CM of Delhi, Kejriwal, who came to sympathise with the family at hospital and the mortuary.
THESE TWO SUICIDES OF INDIANS COMING FROM TWO DIFFERENT PARTS OF INDIA AND FROM TWO DIFFERENT MILIEUS HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON; BOTH HAPPENED TO BE DALITS.
Shamsul Islam is a retired Professor of University of Delhi.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For some of S. Islam’s writings in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Punjabi, Urdu & Gujarati see the following link:
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