Suicide of Rohith Vemula: A Spark for a ‘Revolt’

Must Read

Should the Exorbitant Amounts Charged for RT-PCR Tests be Refunded?

Introduction A plea has been filed in the Honourable Supreme Court of India seeking a refund of exorbitant amounts charged...

Should CCTV’s be Installed in the Police Station?

Introduction In a recent judgment, the bench led by Justice Nariman issued directions to both the state and Union Territory...

A Legal Analysis of the West Bengal Political Crisis on IPS Deputation

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently summoned three IPS officers of West Bengal (WB). The decision was...

Explained: Postal Ballot for NRIs

At the end of November 2020, Election Commission sent a proposal to the law ministry to amend the Representation...

Explained: Constitutional Provisions and Legislations With Regards to a Person with Disabilities

The world celebrates December 3 as International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). This day is also called World...

“Pro-Enforcement Bias” Towards Foreign Arbitral Awards Domestically, in light of Vijay Karia and Ors. V. Prysmian Cavi E Sistemi S.R.L and Ors.

International Arbitration faces challenges domestically due to unharmonized local laws for enforcement. Often it may occur that an award...

Follow us


On January 17th, 2016, Rohith Vemula, a Dalit Ph.D. scholar at Hyderabad Central University (HCU), Telangana, was found dead, hanging in his hostel room. A suicide note was also found. Apparently, Vemula, who was pursuing his Ph.D. from Hyderabad Central University, Telangana, committed suicide due to the cancellation of his scholarship and his subsequent suspension from the university. The suspension sparked off a clash between two groups of students, a Dalit students led group ‘Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) (of which Rohith was a member) and the Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The clash dates back to August last year, when the Dalit led students group raised their voices against the death penalty handed out to Yakub Memon (a convict in the 1993 bombings in Bombay) and also demanded a screening of the Nakul Shawney’s documentary, ‘Muzaffanagar Abhi Baaki Hai’ in the Delhi University Campus, an act that was subsequently seen as ‘Anti-Hindu’ and ‘Anti-National’. The students were expelled from the university in an undemocratic manner with five of them being denied access to their hostels, without any apparent reason. The students from the other political group (ABVP), on the other hand, got off scot free.

This particular incident is being considered as a revolt against the caste based structure that has been prevalent in India for centuries. In addition, the suicide of Rohith Vemula is being seen as an act of defiance against the authorities at the Hyderabad Central University and against the actions of the ABVP.

The involvement of political groups in the controversy is making the event a national one. Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal led, AAM Aadmi Party (AAP), has titled the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi as ‘DalitVidrohi’. Many political leaders like the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) supreme Mayawati and Sitaram Yetchuri of the Communist party of India (Marxist) have titled this incident of suicide as ‘institutional murder’.

It is true to say that there somewhere exists an institutional flaw related to this incident and in fact there must be a judicial probe into the situation. The ABVP has every right to raise objections over an issue (such as the one raised against the screening Muzaffarnagar or the Yakub Memon dialect), but at what cost? This cannot happen in a democracy like India where one strong political group (ABVP) can straightway neglect a dialect upon an issue which relates to crucial issues of the nation simply by titling them as ‘Anti-National’. In fact, Union leader Bandaru Dattareya has called the screening of Nakul Sawhney’s, ‘Muzaffarnagar Abhi Baaki Hai’ as ‘Anti-Hindu’ (the Union Minister must have realized that screening the movie was just meant to make a dialect with the general masses, which relates to an incident where State clearly failed to take care of the interests of one major part of its population, i.e., the Muslims’).

This could well be an example of ‘intolerant India’, where the political groups in power are not allowing a dialect within the public sphere. Whether it is the screening of the documentary or the protests raised against the execution of Yakub Memon, one cannot deny the dialect. If denied, it will result in the violation of freedom of speech and expression.

Union Minister, Bandaru Dattareya, and the Vice Chancellor of Hyderabad University, has been booked under the SC/ST Act too. Most of the political parties are seeking the Government to come up with answers and sack all those who are responsible for the death of the student. The prestigious Osmania University of Hyderabad, which performed a major role in the Telangana movement, is also extending its support to the ASA group as a protest against the acts of the ABVP and the university officials. P.L Punia, Chairman of the SC/ST commission has condoled the students by saying that there will be justice with respect to the incidence and also said, ‘Through the media we got to know that Dalit scholars and the students associated with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarti Parishad (ABVP) had a fight following which the university made a one-sided decision against the Dalit students. They were staging a protest since then and last night one of them committed suicide.’

The incidence is not just a private one, it has spread throughout the national media. But in the name of support towards the cause and the case of Dalit students, political parties will gain political advantages by being a political part of this incidence. Instead of politicizing this issue further, people must realize that we have to become more rational in deciding about people’s lives, allowing them to raise their voices and have a dialect. An act of suppression by the powerful will eventually result in something which is undesirable. Even in his letter, Rohith Vemula, has mentioned in the end that ‘…I forgot to write the formalities. No one is responsible for 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’.

Even as he was about to die, he wrote in a pretty sarcastic manner by saying ‘I forgot the formalities’ and has also made a valid point that his death must not be targeted against someone, but still, it must be an eye opener for everyone in this Nation. It should be kept in mind that such an attempt not only concerns the person’s life but affects all those who are connected to him/her. A series of event led to the 26 year old Ph.D. scholar to take such a step. These series of steps have been titled as a case of ‘institutional murder’ by some political groups. Various news articles and students from ASA call his death as a symbol of protest and spark to fuel a revolt, so that such other such incidents do not happen in the future. If two groups were fighting with each other, then both the groups should have been brought under the lens, but in this case the powerful group got off scot free. Some have demanded the resignation of the Vice Chancellor of the Hyderabad Central University and in response the Government has been coming up with their defense. What is needed right now, is to have a sense of responsibility towards our own people (whether it be a Dalit or a Brahmin’). And instead of politicizing such incidences, people must come forward and raise their voices (though not politicizing such incidences especially based on castes, remains a utopian thought). People will politicize such events whenever it will happen. But the problem remains intact, such issues once politicized keep roaming within the circles of politics, thus becoming puppets in the hands of the political groups. If political groups raise their voices for the genuine cause that such biased incidence do not happen in future, then it would mean a better future with a better scope for the nation.

Latest News

Petition Filed in Delhi High Court Challenging the New Privacy Policy of WhatsApp

A petition has been raised before the Delhi High Court challenging the updated privacy policy of the instant messaging app, WhatsApp. It is accused of looking into the virtual activities of the users,

Bombay High Court Says Pleas Against the Rejection of Nomination Before the Polls Is Not Maintainable

Bombay High Court on Wednesday held that a candidate cannot challenge his nomination by filing a writ petition before a court prior to the polls after his nominations have already been rejected by the Returning Officer (RO) for the Panchayat elections of January 15.

Bombay HC: It Will Be Difficult if Civic Bodies Don’t Take Action on Illegal Constructions

The Bombay High Court said on Wednesday that if the Municipal Corporations do not take action on the illegal constructions, things will become very difficult. This observation was made by a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice Girish Kulkarni while hearing a PIL after the Bhiwandi building collapse on September 21st, 2020 which led to the death of 39 lives. Mumbai Thane, Ulhasnagar, Kalyan-Dombivli, Vasai-Virar, Navi Mumbai, and Bhiwandi-Nizampur corporations were filed as respondents.

Uttarakhand High Court Directed State Authorities To Frame SOP Regarding Kumbh Mela 2021

Noticing the commencement date of Kumbh Mela 2021 amid pandemic from 27 February 2021, the Uttarakhand High Court on Monday expressed concern with regard to organizing and conducting of the Mela and directed State Authorities to discuss and resolve the logistical problems which can come in organizing the Mela during the pandemic time.

Writ Petition Not Maintainable Against Mahindra Finance, Being a Purely Private Body: Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court reiterated that Writ Petition against the purely private body is not maintainable and dismissed the petition which was filed against Mahindra Finance Bank as Arif Khan v. Branch Manager Mahindra Finance Sultanpur & Another.

Publication of Notices for Inter-Faith Marriages No Longer Mandatory: Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court has passed a landmark judgment that likely brings relief to inter-faith marriage. The Court on Wednesday said that the mandatory publication of Notices of Inter-Faith marriages will now be optional to protect the Privacy and Liberty of the Couple. The Court observed that the publication of the notice would “invade the fundamental rights of liberty and privacy”. Therefore, it has made it optional for the couple, they can now request in form of writing to a marriage officer to publish or not to publish a notice regarding the marriage.

Bombay High Court to NIA: Consider Health and Age of Varavara Rao Before Opposing His Bail Plea

The Bombay HC on Wednesday observed that ‘we are all humans’ and asked the National Investigation Agency and the Maharashtra Government to consider the health and age of the Telugu poet-activist Varavara Rao before making submissions in response to his bail plea application on medical grounds.

Supreme Court Agrees To Examine Centre’s Plea To Keep Adultery a Crime in Armed Forces

The Centre appealed to the Supreme court on Wednesday, pleading that the 2018 judgment of decriminalizing adultery under IPC must not apply to the armed forces. The Supreme Court in a path-breaking verdict in 2018 decriminalized adultery and declared all its provisions unconstitutional as it diminishes the value of women, but maintained that it continues to be a ground for divorce.

Supreme Court Examines the Pollution in Yamuna River for the Second Time

The Supreme Court on Wednesday made a second attempt to clean the Yamuna river by taking a Suo Moto Cognizance of significantly high levels of ammonia water discharged from neighbouring states like Haryana into Delhi.

Fetus Suffering From Anencephaly, Woman’s Plea To Terminate 28-Weeks Pregnancy Allowed by Delhi HC

Based on the report of the medical board constituted by AIIMS, the Delhi High Court on Monday allowed a petition filed by a woman seeking the termination of her 28-weeks pregnancy. They said in its report that the fetus suffered from anencephaly, a disorder where the skull bone is not developed and was thus incompatible with life, therefore her fetus can be aborted.

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -