Some of my friends were confused regarding reason behind calling it an ‘Institutional murder’ when it was a suicide. Later they got to know from several news sources, social media that it was a brutal central govt.-ruling party-administrative authority nexus that led to the suicide of Rohith Vemula. Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile was also implicated under prevention of SC/ST atrocities act. There is a FIR filed against P. Appa Rao and his anticipatory bail plea was not accepted by the court. And then on 22nd-23rd March,2016 what followed in HCU happened to be one of the worst onslaughts on student community in last two decades maybe.
Yes all of these are absolutely correct informations.
But can the suicide of Rohith Vemula be seen as just another incident of atrocity on Dalit that has been omnipresent irrespective of whoever is in power?
Does the institution only refer to a particular administrative politics of a certain university?
Or does the ‘institution’ transcend university walls and attributes to a bigger ideology? An ideology that brings together Bandaru Dattatreya, Appa Rao, Smriti Irani, Susheel Kumar, and many others under a common umbrella. The brutal crackdown on HCU students and the extreme repressive measures adopted by authority to curb their voices are in response to what?
The conflict of ideologies.
The tremendous effort to ‘Manusmriti’ze the nation and the huge resistance to it happens to be at the root cause. The dreadful Manusmriti ideology bathed people perceive caste system and casteism as something very normal. It comes as an involuntary response. Thus when attempts are made to annihilate the caste system- reactions in favor of preserving the former values are immediately generated. In due time attempts to suppress the effort of caste annihilation becomes intentional because of the involuntary response. Thus while speaking about Rohith Vemula’s institutional murder, institution needs to be depicted more as an ideological establishment rather than just a centre-university admiistration nexus. An institution that brings like minded people to exhibit their power and authority regardless of the university campus, govt non-govt , corporate organizations they belong.
We live in a country where many hail cow as their mother. Many of them act as cow-protection vigilantes and do not hesitate to kill people suspected of carrying beef. They may justify their deeds on the grounds of ‘sentiments being hurt’. And that often gives them the leverage to still roam free. Yet when a large number of students at HCU protested demanding justice regarding the institutional murder of their friend, the campus was turned into a warzone, all the basic facilities of the campus were shut down. The university authority has every right to condemn any move of its students community. Expressing disagreement with the students, by denying the largest section of the university of their basic rights to sustain their lives in campus is unprecedented. Debit cards blocked, water, food, net, electricity facilities shut down are blatant human right violations. The passivity of MHRD regarding the issue merely reflects their support to such heinous acts of university administration.
Challenging these institutions , ideological establishments is the need of the hour. Otherwise in a country with plural set of ideas and opinions you may end up being the next.
Does your blood boil after all these? What is the boiling point for your blood?