The death of a 26 year old PhD scholar at the Hyderabad University on 17th January 2016 disturbed me. Rohit Vemula’s death continues to disturb me very deeply. That someone so young should even contemplate suicide is disturbing enough. That he did commit suicide gives me sleepless nights even now. Was it cowardice? Was it despair? Was it discrimination? Poverty? Caste? Loss? Pain? Protest?
I do not endorse suicide. The act is neither symbolic nor worthy of my sympathy. However, in Rohith Vemula’s letter I found expression to my own despair at the way our constitutional freedoms are systematically being snatched away by an apathetic establishment. His last letter is a reflection of how our polarised social order has made it impossible for the ‘other’ to even aspire for equal opportunity. His last letter made me realise that sometimes what we deem as suicide is actually an act of collective murder by a stifling society and a dictatorial establishment.
Here is my tribute to Rohith. Here is the last letter of a sensitive young man who should not have died. Here is Rohith Vemula’s last letter.
Narrated by Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub
Translated by Swanand Kirkire
with thanks to :
Arnab Gayan, Apurva Asrani, Harshit Sharma, Alok Tripathi, Vipul Arora
2 thoughts on “Rohith’s Last Words”
Rohith’s death is a death that any sensitive and sensible person can relate to. The inherent existential angst that we all feel in this hostile world is by all means gets increased by the very society which has been created to protect its inhabitants. So, his death is a testimony of the failure of every component of the society in which we live, it is a failure of “us”, it is a joke and a cruel one at that on us.
My laal salaam to Rohith as the fellow anguished and tortured soul who could not succeed in what he did succeed finally.
Rohith you continue living in your death and we continue dying in our life…