Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Scholar suicide at Hyderabad Central University and the Caste Card

So the warriors are at it again. "Dalit student committed suicide, HRD ministry is anti-dalit,it is not a suicide,its a cold blooded murder,Handwork of Hindutva forces,Modi should apologize etc" - these are all the comments of warriors and Arvind Kejriwal(s). I am not writing anything on my own, just sharing the information published by the same media, which is hellbent on accusing BJP govt and polarizing the issue. Yakub Memon,a terrorist,was hanged last year for his involvement in bomb blasts.His guilt was proven with proper facts and evidences. Please note,he was awarded death penalty and it was upheld by Supreme court,well before Narendra Modi​ became PM.

ABVP(Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) and ASA(Ambedkar Students'Association) are 2 student unions in Hyderabad Central University(HCU) - ABVP is a Hindutva(Sangh Parivar),pro-BJP student wing and ASA is a Dalit union. ASA carried out protests against Yakub Memon's hanging. The ABVP objected to it. The case(or allegation) is that,some of the students belonging to ASA,physically assaulted ABVP President. When the ABVP lodged a complaint, the HCU has given clean chit to ASA..The ABVP has taken the issue to Bandaru Dattatreya(Union Minister of State for Labour) and the minister has written a letter to HRD Ministry, seeking its interference.

When a minister receives a complaint,what is he/she supposed to do?Seek an explanation. That is what the HRD Ministry did. The HCU has not responded to the letter sent by HRD ministry and they have sent 4 reminders to provide explanation on this issue. Then,the HCU suspended the 5 students of ASA. It is being said that Rohith Vemula,one among the 5 students who got suspended, committed suicide after this move of HCU.

What has caste got to do with this? Had they suspended them because they were Dalits,the argument of caste discrimination is valid.That was not the case.Accept it or not,Yakub Memon's guilt was proven beyond doubt with proper evidences and it was then he was hanged.As per law he is a criminal and holding protests against the lawful action taken against a criminal is anti-national indeed,especially using an educational institution's name. You can say hanging a terrorist is wrong,obviously,its your opinion and you have all rights to express it.You can express your opinion in facebook or even in streets,but as an individual not as a union using an institution's name.

It can be observed that this is a problem between 2 groups. Why is such a huge cry against HRD ministry's act of seeking explanation from the university?So according to media and intellectuals,if the complaint is against a Dalit union,it should be ignored.No explanation should be sought(note,the ministry has only sought explanation and reply from the university,it has not recommended any action or punishment).

What if the issue has been the other way? Say, the Dalit union writes to HRD ministry alleging caste discrimination. If the HRD fails to seek an explanation or to send reminders on the issue, will these intellectuals remain quiet?Will they not taunt the HRD ministry? Will they not go to the extent of abusing Smriti Zubin Irani​ ?Will there not be name calling? Isn't this hypocrisy? And The Hindu has come up with a cartoon suggesting that it was the society which is intolerant towards Dalits,has killed this student. Isn't it irresponsible? Is the media reporting the caste of every student who commits suicide for various reasons(excluding personal reasons)?. They will not, because only in certain cases, they can sensationalize the issue and gain TRPs.Their posts will go viral and their websites will more hits.

Personally, I can only sympathize with the student who committed suicide. The issue will die down in few weeks/months. Media will move on with TRP and publicity,some political group will gain some political mileage for sure and they will move on too,but the one who committed suicide is not going to come back. May his soul rest in peace.

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