Author: Radhika Vemula
Life has become a battle for Radika Vemula, a 49-year-old mother who lost her twenty-six-year-old son Rohith Vemula, on 17th, January 2016. Since the day her son was killed, this mother is struggling to get the culprits who pushed her son to death be brought to book and the discriminatory practices that caused her tragedy be reformed. While her son is no more in this world and the culprits are free and continuing to commit many more injustices, Radhika Vemula is leading the battle by protesting along with students demanding justice. She is a single mother of three children and worked throughout her life by taking jobs of a domestic worker, construction worker, and tailor to feed her children and to educate them and herself. After raising Rohith for twenty-six years, she lost her son Rohith, who was doing his PhD, forever.
“It takes two hands to clap”
“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.”