“There are reports from Kerala that SFI people have been attacking Ambedkarite and Muslim students. In the process, a poster with my son’s photo was torn. Chitralekha’s problems are still continuing. It is also sad to see that Dalits and Adivasis are still fighting for land in Kerala. A very important adivasi woman leader of Kerala, who was once a powerful and progressive voice, has been forced to join the BJP. Why did this happen? Some Left leaders met me asking me to be present for a consultation on Rohith Act but I realised later that no Ambedkarite leaders not even my son’s friends from the ASA were invited. How can non Dalits sit and decide what should go into a law for protecting Dalits against discrimination in campuses? We also saw the unfortunate things that happened in HCU and JNU during the elections where the Left did not support Dalit leaders and instead fought against them.”
Tag: Rohith Vemula
The story of Nangeli is a disputed one. Academic historians have yet to find sufficient external evidence of the events the story describes. For me, the veracity of the facts is less important than the singular fact that the story exists, and continues to be told. It narrates the protest, anguish and anger of those who are excluded from the reach of our collective conscience because they have no text, and therefore no ‘history’. This comics story first appeared in Art Review Asia and is dedicated to Rohith Vemula (1989-2016), who, like Nangeli, chose death over a life of indignity.
“Though the University is claimed as a “modern” institution which professes all such values that can be the markers of “modernity”, namely; liberty, equality, fraternity and rationality etc., this claim can only be made on the perils of overlooking a large set of questions that emanate from the kind of social reality we live in…
Rohith Vemula wanted to express the lived reality of being a student in the school of Life Sciences and the discrimination he faced in the laboratory, through an academic paper. He had sent an Abstract to the annual sociology conference to be held in the university. The Abstract was titled “Discovering Caste Prejudices in Science Laboratories: Unheard Narratives”
We have to acknowledge that the Dalits and other marginal groups have a more intense and nuanced understanding of the rules of Indian politics than the left-liberal intelligentsia. The latter’s pragmatism, we might say, has led to their failure in even understanding what constitutes Dalit politics.
Radhika Vemula, the mother of deceased dalit scholar and Ambedkarite activist Rohith Vemula was on one side enslaved in anguish and on the other side has radically transformed herself by associating with the ambedkarite movement
Not only are your claims factually incorrect but they point to an utter lack of respect and sensitivity for the grieving family, friends, and students. You are clearly disconnected from the heart breaking grief of his friends palpable to anyone present that night or the accompanying anger knowing the injustice that led to this tragedy. Does it befit our honourable minister to implicate these very grieving people in the death of their beloved friend?
Rohith Vemula’s ‘suicide’ is not the desperate reaction of a despairing victim to casteist atrocities. For the same reason, and contrary to what many might imagine, Vemula’s ‘suicide’ has nothing to do with anomie-bred existential nihilism. Rather, it is an act of revolutionary affirmation
For those who are using Rohith’s letter to simplistically assert that he died due to “personal problems,” sit up and open your eyes, ears, and mind to what is being said and what is not being said in this letter. Read between the lines, in the loops of his “y”s and “g”s and in the indented spaces separating his neat paragraphs.
“Please serve 10mg Sodium Azide to all the Dalit students at the time of admission. With direction to use when they feel like reading Ambedkar.”
ROHITH VEMULA’s letter of 18/12/2015 to the Vice Chancellor of Hyderabad Central University