“I am a Dalit,” Rohit Vemula stresses in video shot days before his death
A week after the panel set up by HRD Ministry claimed Rohith Vemula was not a Dalit, an old video of Rohith has emerged countering panel’s arguments.
In a video that appeared in YouTube days ago, Rohith asserts his Dalit identity saying: “Jai Bheem to all. My name is Rohith Vemula. I came from Guntur. I am a Dalit coming from Guntur district.”
“I have been a student of University of Hyderabad since 2010. Now I am doing PhD in social science department,” he added.
Rohit Vemula, a PhD scholar from University of Hyderabad, committed suicide last year after the varsity expelled him, along with other four Dalit students, from the hostel. The University had also barred them from accessing public places on campus for allegedly assaulting an ABVP student leader.
The 1.50 min video, which his friends say was shot days before the Dalit research scholar hanged himself, now contradicts the arguments made by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
See the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFxoCEAPoSQ
Recently, AK Roopanwal’s report stated that there is no proof that Vemula’s mother V Radhika belongs to the “Mala” Dalit community. He claimed that the Vemula’s mother branded herself as Dalit to receive the benefits of reservation.
The confirmation regarding Rohith’s caste remains important as Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and HCU vice-chancellor Appa Rao were named in an FIR filed by the police under the SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act for leading him to suicide.
Meanwhile, an earlier report submitted by Guntur District Collector Kantilal Dande had stated Rohith belonged to the Scheduled Caste community.
The report submitted to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes stated Vemula belongs to Hindu Mala caste, which is classified as Scheduled Caste in Andhra Pradesh and his family comes under BPL.
However, the issue took a turn when Kantilal Dande suggested a fresh probe after denying his own report saying the caste status of Rohith is shrouded in “ambiguity.”