Rohit wasn’t alone: these dalit students had to kill themselves too

A Chaudhary

Rohith Vemula

Rohit Vemula -25 , PhD scholar at UoH, an active member of ASA (Ambedkar Student Association) committed suicide on 17th January 2016 after he was expelled from the college with four other dalit students on allegations of propagating anti national activities like protesting the hanging of Yakub Memon after five letters from MHRD headed under Smriti Irani.

But Rohith was not alone. Here are more some Dalit students who were forced to commit suicide in last few years due to brahminical character of Indian campuses.

Anil Kumar MeenaAnil Kumar Meena, an adivasi medical student at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, killed himself in his hostel room on 3rd march, 2010 because of “depression”. The son of poor farmers in Baran, Rajasthan, Meena had scored 75 per cent in Class 12 and a second rank in the AIIMS entrance test.

Jaspreet SinghDr. Jaspreet Singh (1987-2008), was pursuing MBBS from Government Medical College, Chandigarh. Jaspreet committed suicide in 2008 after his dreams of becoming a surgeon were cut short by a professor who not only humiliated him on caste lines but failed him twice in the same paper and threatened to further keep failing him.

Senthil KumarSenthil Kumar, a PhD (Physics) student in Hyderabad Central University and from a poor pig rearing community committed suicide on feb 23, 2008, after HCU stopped his JRF scholarship with a sudden self-made rule of not allotting him scholarship till he cleared his previous exams and was not allotted any guide for the whole first year.

Madari VenkateshMadari Venkatesh,a 3rd year PhD scholar and a CSIR- Junior Research fellow, from Advance Centre for Research in High Energy (ACRHEM), University of Hyderabad (UoH), committed suicide in his hostel room on 24th November 2013. Venkatesh came from a Dalit family from Ibrahimpatnam, Andhra Pradesh; probably, a first generation University student.

Balmukund BhartiBalmukund Bharti, a final year MBBS student drom All India institute of medical sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi committed suicide on 3rd March 2010. Though his parents accused AIIMS of caste discrimination that drove their son to commit suicide, the police and the AIIMS administration plainly refused to consider this demand and cited ‘personal reasons’ for suicide without even conducting a preliminary enquiry.

Manish Kumar GuddolianManish Kumar Guddolian, 20, was pursuing his IInd year, Integrated Dual Degree Programme, Department of Computer Science & Information Technology, at Indian Institute of technology (IIT) Roorkee. Manish committed suicide by jumping off from 5th floor of his hostel on 6th Feb, 2011, unable to bear the constant castetist assaults and abuses by his own batch-mates, criminal attitude of his hostel warden and IIT Administration that instead of acting on his complaints forced him to live outside IIT Roorkee.

Linesh Mohan GawleOn 16th April, 2011, Linesh Mohan Gawle, a PhD scholar at the prestigious National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, became one more name in the long list of Dalit and Adivasi students, who have committed suicide in India’s premier educational institutions in recent years.