A student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) allegedly committed suicide due to depression in on the evening of Monday, March 13.
Who was the student?
The 27-year-old student, Muthukrishnan Jeevanantham, was a student of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in JNU. A native of Tamil Nadu, he is an alumnus of the University of Hyderabad (UoH).
A Dalit student and research scholar, Jeevanantham was also active in the ‘Justice for Rohit Vemula’ movement and was part of the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) at the UoH. (In January 2016, UoH PhD student Rohith Vemula killed himself after alleged caste-based discrimination. Vemula’s death triggered protests across India.
Source: Timeline Of Rajini Krish
A call was received at 5.05 pm on Monday that a person had locked himself in a room at a house in Munirka Vihar, Delhi. On reaching the spot, police forced open the door as a portion of the latch was uprooted from inside. Jeevanantham was found hanging from the ceiling fan.
Jeevanantham apparently went out to have food at his friend’s house and locked his room from inside after returning from there on the pretext of sleeping.
Police are trying to find the reason behind his taking the extreme step, a police officer told Firstpost. Until now no evidence has been found that the extreme step was taken by the student owing to any issues at the university. Jeevanantham is said to have been depressed for some time over some personal issues.
Before taking the drastic step, Jeevanantham posted the following on his Facebook timeline: “There is no equality in MPhil/PhD Admission, there is no equality in viva voce, there is only denial of equality, denying Professor Sukhadeo Thorat recommendation, denying students protest places in ad-block, denying the education of the marginals. When equality is denied, everything is denied.”
This was posted on 10 March. The full text of final Facebook post can be read here. As of now, no suicide note has been found.
Jeevanantham’s death was met with an outpouring of grief from fellow students in JNU. Even as the police investigate the case further for the motive behind Jeevanantham’s suicide, many have criticised what they deem as casteism prevalent in educational institutions in India.