Speaking in a seminar on “Caste-based atrocities in higher educational institutions” organized by students of the Central University, Hyderabad to mark the first anniversary of Rohith Vemula, Bezwada Wilson, the Magsaysay award winner charged the ruling government of the suicide of the Dalit scholar and began his speech by calling it an institutional murder.
He slammed the university and the government at the centre for not doing any justice to Rohith’s family and instead branding his mother as falsely claiming Dalit status.
Universities unable to protect the lives of Dalit children
“I am going to say that it was an institutional murder. 70 years after Independence, the unfortunate thing is that the University is unable to protect the lives of Dalit children who are marginalised. It is the systematic plan of people who are ruling in this country. There is a very clear understanding among them, they are afraid of the Dalits and the marginalised who are coming to the universities.”
Government completely twisted the case
“If they really believed in equality, then the government would have launched a proper investigation as to what led to the death of Rohith Vemula. Instead they completed twisted the case. They made it about which caste he belongs to, which is a complete drama.”
“We should not think that it has started now,” he told the students and intellectuals who were present, “If it has started today then it should not be a fact that 1.6 lakh Dalit women are cleaning the human excreta in the country even now. The prime minister will talk about the GDP, MDP, ADP, whatever it may be. But even three years after his rule, people are still carrying human excreta. The vice-chancellor must feel ashamed to have not protected the rights of Rohith’s family.”
It must be recalled that instead of doing justice for Rohith, the Central and state governments are going all out to protect and reward the VC Podile Apparao. In the recent Indian Science Congress, held in Tirupati, PM Modi handed over the Millenium plaque personally to Appa Rao.
It is also expected that the Andhra government is planning to declare Rohith Vemula as belonging to “other backward castes.”
No wonder, Bezwada Wilson called it “Asatya Bharat”- a place where Dalits and their children continue to be marginalized.