Rohit Vemula, Not A Dalit In An Anti-Dalit Nation
Guntur: The caste Kammas, who have killed the Dalits in Karamchedu in 1982, are not guilty of the crime. The Reddys, who have butchered the Dalits in Tsundur in 1991, are not guilty of the crime. No landlord who killed his servant (paleru) in Andhra Pradesh over the decades has been proved of the crime. They were all acquitted by the courts of law. When the courts can clear the criminals of those heinous crimes, what is expected from a committee that was constituted by the perpetrators of a crime? So was the panel that probed into the suicidal death of Rohit Vemula, a scholar from the University of Hyderabad.
There are hundreds of All India Service (IAS, IPS, IFS etc) bureaucrats across the country that have come from the same Dalit community, making use of reservations. There are thousands of elected representatives from the Dalit community, benefiting from the reservations, like Rohit Vemula. But, none of them have opened their eyes and mouths to condemn the casteist forces that have prompted Rohit to end his life abruptly.
The irony is that an IAS officer, who is a Dalit and who has come up using reservations, has shamelessly surrendered to the pressures of the powers in declaring that Rohit Vemula is not a Dalit. The courts and the same bureaucrats, who have allowed Koneru Ranga Rao to enjoy the reservations by virtue of his mother’s caste for five decades, have no shame to reject Rohit family’s plea to consider them as Dalits.
The Dalit bureaucrats and elected representatives, who have been enjoying the fruits of reservations for generations together and who have been shamelessly grabbing the opportunities of the real poor Dalits in the villages, still carry the shoes of the casteist forces over their heads, even if it amounts to doing injustice to their own Dalit community. The Dalit IAS officer denies Dalit caste certificate to Rohit. Several Dalit elected representatives suck the feet of the casteist rulers to deny the SC status to Rohit.
We have seen a half a dozen Dalit ministers and elected leaders doing injustice to the Dalits of Garagaparru village of West Godavari District recently, to please their masters. The Dalits who were ostracized for three months and even continue to be suffering the same, had no support of the Dalit bureaucrats and elected representatives. They are, for the sake of power, dictated by the same oppressors. So was the panel that looked into the Rohit Vemula’s case.
The saffron brigade that had come to power in the Modi wave and which is focusing on capturing the educational institutions was not responsible for the suicidal death of Rohit? Was the minister who forced the vice-chancellor to take disciplinary action against Rohit and other Dalit students were not responsible? When a scholar was thrown out of his hostel, just for questioning the oppressors or making an attempt to assert his right to live, what is he expected to do? What would be his state of mind?
Is this government releasing the scholarships for the Dalits to pursue their education? Is this government filling the Dalit backlog posts? Are the Dalit employees treated on par with others in the offices? When a Dalit collector has no freedom to act on his own in determining the caste of Rohit, when the Dalit elected representatives have no freedom to act on their own to condemn the casteism prevailing in the educational institutions, who is responsible for the crime?
The panel has truly reflected the prevailing situation in the society. The lion in jungle is not at fault for the death of a deer. The snake is not at fault for the death of a frog. So is the University of Hyderabad in the death of Rohit.