KOCHI: As the sun set on Monday, the voice of protests over the suicide of PhD student Rohith Vemula of University of Hyderabad on Sunday, echoed in the city - like in other parts of the country.
The members of Kerala Dalit Maha Sabha, Janakeeya Manushyavakasa Prasthanam and Njattuvela Cultural Group joined hands to rise against the ill-treatment faced by Dalits across the nation, with a protest march by around 100 people, including school students, from the Boat Jetty to the High Court.
Dalit writer Meena Kandasamy who inaugurated the protest said majority of the Dalit students support their family and each step of educational qualification by one was a huge struggle. “Vemula’s death is not a suicide but an institutional murder and this incident is a silent cry of many who are living like dead and also a statement to society that they have failed him,” she pointed out.
Vemula, an active student leader on the campus, had been protesting against the disciplinary action taken against five students, including him, by the University authorities on an issue that happened in August last year. His suicide has led to an outpouring of grief, rage and disappointment across the country. Joseph Vatolli, former professor of Cusat, addressing the protesters, said, “Aspirated to become a scientist-cum-writer like Carl Segan, Rohith felt helpless when his 15-day-long protest was neglected by the authorities of the University. His death is a wake-up call to the entire nation, when students of educational institutions, even at this minute are being victimised for being born in a Dalit family.”