Rohit Vemula’s Is A Day Light Murder By Casteist State
By P Victor Vijay Kumar
18 January, 2016
It is official now ! Universities are just run on ‘ Manu Dharmam’ and there is nothing like rules and procedures which are specified by UGC or any Govt. for their functioning. A Minister gets involved in the affairs of the university and passes his own judgement on it as ‘ casteist ‘ ( it is casteist because Dalits get vocal) and ‘anti-nationl’ ( because they have a difference of opinion with the Govt. and decision of judiciary ) and goes ahead in the name of ‘ highlighting the affairs ‘ of the University ‘ and suggests the Ministry ‘ to change ‘ this. As a result, a Dalit scholar from University hangs himself and commits suicide.
There are certain blatant blunders in functioning of the Govt. which get formalised after Modi took over the reins. Bandau Dattatreya, who steered the entire process of expulsion of Dalit students , though being an outside individual, totally unconcerned with the governance of students and educational institutions , goes ahead publicly hinting the University what kind of action they have to take on their students and his fervent recommendation gets diplomatically forwarded by MHRD ending up receiving a formal acceptance of the same by University administration. Secondly, unabashedly, VC never gives a chance to Students to hear their point but goes ahead and rusticates the students.
It is very explicit and conspicuous if you look at Central Universities Act 2009 which loudly accommodates any dispute in decision to punish students can be appealed. Instead, what the VC of University, being a staunch loyalist to RSS/BJP , appointed recently, chose is not to give even an appointment to the students to listen to their view point, which anyway he loathes. The university administration started functioning at its whims and fancies going by the individual discretions and turning a manipulative paper work to legitimise its ‘ casteist diplomacy ‘.
The universities, Post-Modi Govt, chose not to implement the Act but, implicitly decided to adopt ‘ Manudharmam ‘ in its functioning. The discolouring of Brahminism in the educational institutions is shaping into an open fascist administration. What these casteist VC and his apostles could not agree recognise is that – Yakub Memon case was accepted for reconsideration by a three-bench Supreme Court at 3 am in the morning meaning the judgement in case of Yakub case is not such a simple and straight forward one but has subjectivity. While this is how Supreme Court too indicates that there could be a difference of opinion, VC of HCU ignored this fact of ‘ disputed decision ‘ and had an one-sided ruling that ‘ Opposing Yakub Memon’s death sentence is anti-national ‘ for which there is simple legitimisation by a Minister , Mr. Dattatreya. In the same line, if Dalit research scholars , being prt of the intelligentia, chose to voice their opinion, it is viewed as a total political non-coformity and extrapolated to a level of ‘ anti-nationalism’.
Rohit's unfinished home
I had interaction with Rohith Vemula and I saw him a composed man and an anguished student while screening ‘ Muzaffar Nagar Baqi Hai ‘. That was the night, when other ASA members were protesting late night at the VC building, he lead the screening of the movie at an open place in the University. When I was searching for words how to introduce the students to the Documentary film maker over skype , he told me ‘ we identify ourselves as Dalit Marxists ! ‘
Rohith Vemula was one of the very few handful of research scholars belonging to Dalit section. He personified as a hope for the Dalits to come up in their academic career. His suicide is an instigated one. It is nothing but murder in the broad day light. Govt. official numbers say that 4-5 dalits in a day face different forms of attrocities. Rohith wrote in his suicide note revealing his mental depression and disappointment on his subjugation to the prevailing circumstances. In fact, he wrote a letter to VC, on receiving the rustication order, that he would be ready to kill himself if university administration wanted to do it , otherwise, which went unaddressed by the VC. He is a fatherless child belonging to a poor family. He wrote in his suicide note concerning his financial challenges having not received his fellowship grant in the past 7 months. A dalit is given a seat in the university because he has a right to get on there but the state can get nullified by inaction on such aspects like non-release of financial grant. We have seen Karamchedu, Tsundur etc cutting down the Dalits’ bodies into pieces. Now, this case stands as its kind on the eve of Ambedkar’s 125th Birth anniversary.
Rohit Vemula’s death is not a suicide. Rohith has not hanged himself. He was given death punishment by this State after it hanged Yakub Memon. Rather, this is a day light murder of a life….not just that …it is a murder of hope !
P Victor Vijay Kumar is a CFO of an infrastructure company, by profession. A dalit writer cum critic