Rohith Vemula's Body Cremated Secretly
19 January, 2016
The body of Rohith Vemula, one of the five rusticated students of Hyderabad Central University who committed suicide was secretly cremated by the police. Police informed the student community that his body will be cremated at a certain crematorium, and then his body was taken secretly to another crematorium at Amberpet and burnt it. None of his friends were present.
His body was found hanging in a hostel room Sunday evening. Hundreds of students gathered around the hostel and prevented the police from removing the body. In morning hours of Monday, police brutally beat up around 100 students gathered around the hostel , arresting many of them and took away the body. After finishing the formalities the police secretly cremated Rohith’s body. The whole process was directed by a local BJP leader.
Chittibabu Padavala, a friend of Rohith, managed to get some photographs from the cremation ground and posted it on Facebook.
His Facebook post said,
As we know, for all the centrality the death has in Brahaminical culture, in fact, in its life itself, including in its festivities and humor, conducting the grave occassion of death decently is the last thing it does. It knows not the dignity even in death, particularly in the face of or wake of death.
It is probably the most ineradicable aspect of their religious practice. That this shocking insensitivity, probably endless sadism was the work of public authorities and not religious institutions of precolonial times doesn't make such tricks any less brahmanical. It is the brahmanical mind-set that afflicts our institutions that make such things possible.
From disposing the body of Rohith Vemula in secrecy and hurry, by misleading the grieving students and family members and other who might want to pay tributes to him one last time, what happiness can possibly be derived by anybody?
Is it that the police and the Sangh biggies thought that it would create a law and order problem? Or they don't want to see a huge show of strength and solidarity for the 26-year, dead PhD scholar?
One of the only (sometimes) useful thing Sanghis do, as opposed to their mostly harmful and ocassionally useless things is conducting funerals of unattended dead bodies. The police-Sanghi coordination here seems to to reverse the equation to get rid of the dead body of Rohith (comrade, you are scaring them even after death. probably more now) as if it was an unclaimed, unrecognized body remains of an unidentified dead to deprive you of a martyr's farewell.
I cursed you upon hearing the news of your death, tried to tell myself defensively and dishonestly that it was your betrayal to the cause, to life and to me. It didn't work. I was wrong. You really scared them. It helps that they believe in ghosts. A spectre will haunt the Brahmanical Academia, the spectre of Rohith Vemula!
The heroism, martyrdom, victimhood, sacrifice of yours they want to deprive you of will backfire. We will make your name, spirit, deeds, legacy, memory, ideals a permanent presence all around us. Your name will not be any indistinct trace that all erasures must leave behind, your name will be an evergrowing presence. Scarily spectral to them, progressively looming large inspiration for us. Ultimately all too real for all of us.