Rohith Vemula’s suicide exposes caste fault lines in Hyderabad University

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Rohith Vemula’s suicide exposes caste fault lines in Hyderabad University


The suicide of Rohith Vemula is beginning to fuel caste hostilities on the campus. After contending that Rohith was not an SC — a claim refuted by his mother — the ABVP now claims that its campus president, Nandanam Susheel Kumar, is being targeted for being an OBC.

“There is a malicious attack by certain sections on Susheel, who hails from the OBC community. He is being accused of making false allegations. He is being victimised because of his caste,’’ said ABVP executive committee member Dilip Kumar.

Even the backward Kuruma community is getting ready to throw its weight behind Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya. While the BJP has already defended Dattatreya, the Telangana State Kuruma Sangham is organising a meeting in Hyderabad Friday to defend and declare its support for the backward class leader.

Kuruma Sangham president Y Mallesh said that Dattatreya was being unnecessarily targeted over Rohith’s suicide.

“Dattatreya is himself from the backward caste community and he is being accused by another community of causing the death of Rohith. We cannot keep quiet. We will declare our support and defend Dattatreya at a function tomorrow,’’ said Mallesh.

On the other side, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, who is trying to bring SCs/STs/BCs under his party’s umbrella, has already visited the university campus twice to express solidarity with the protesting students. Owaisi has also accused the BJP of projecting Muslims and Dalits as anti-nationals.

On Thursday, Rohith’s mother Radhika Vemula condemned the attempts to question Rohith’s caste and reiterated that they belonged to the SC-Mala community.

“It is sad that after such a tragic death questions are being raised about his caste,’’ said Radhika. She added that she will continue her protest at the university until the authorities provide a clear explanation for Rohith’s suspension.

Many students from other castes and communities and region, including those from the Northeast, joined the protest on Thursday.

The arrival of revolutionary Telugu balladeer Gummadi Vittal Rao, popularly known as Gaddar, gave fillip to the ongoing protest.



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