Suicide Note: ‘Dalit’ Scholar Kills Himself, Sparks A Debate On Casteism Existing In Our Society
January 18th, 2016
[Update: The police on 18 January registered a case against Union minister of state for labour Bandaru Dattatreya and University of Hyderabad (UoH) vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile and and two Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad leaders for abetting suicide]
Hyderabad Central University’s PHd student Rohith Vemula committed suicide by hanging himself this Sunday.
Rohith was expelled from the college with four of his friends from his hostel. He was living in open with few more students in protest against the decision by the university.
According to a firstpost report, In August last year, the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) with other groups issued a joint statement condemning an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) attack on screening of Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hain.
According to the report on Counter Currents, derogatory remarks against ASA students were made by ABVP on the Facebook page. When an apology was demanded, local BJP and RSS supporters pressurised the vice-chancellor of the university to expel the ASA leaders based on “false allegations”.
He was removed from the hostel allegedly after a letter from the MP of Secundrabad was sent to the education minister of India.
The allegations by MP Bandaru Dattatraya that ASA members attacked ABVP president was later found to be false.
According to Counter Currents, five dalit students were asked to vacate their accommodation and find different quarters for themselves. Their living spaces were locked by the hostel administration. One of the reasons cited for this was that the students opposed the death sentences awarded to Yakub Memon.
In a letter(Accessed by CNN-IBN) written by him to the vice chancellor in December, he had accused the university of discrimination, and to end the apathy of the university towards the Dalits, he asked the university to give poison to Dalit students.
Suicide note left by Rohith Vemula
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 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.
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.
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.
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 [Ambedkar Students Association] 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,
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.“