I don’t get it. I have never got it. You have the privilege of going to college to study. The groves of academe are neither killing fields nor are they fertile grounds for promoting hatred of any sort. Caste, colour, creed and political affiliations have no role and it is a matter a great shame that universities have been turned into vote banks and the talons of the political hawks gouge the backs of these kids.
Because that is what they are. Kids. Boys and girls, not men and women. Mummy and daddy are paying for them to imbibe learning. The power and the magnification of that surrogate authority reflected in university campuses and the shrill contest in college elections is the root of all this evil.
Why on earth should college or university elections be controlled and manipulated by politicians? These are DEPENDENTS. They are not independent, financially viable adults. Yet, year after year, in every Indian university campus students are engaged in power games, used as pawns and identified by their political puppet masters.
Anyone with heart would be deeply sorry about Rohith Vemula’s suicide as one of five so-called Dalit research scholars. What Dalit scholars? They were just that... students, no more, no less. Why was it even an issue and what was going on when these five were suspended and pushed out of dorms and mess halls?
Did no one think to address the matter and rectify a visually repulsive scenario?
All the events, distasteful, corrupted and bigoted, that led up to the young man killing himself have to be listed and those involved held culpable.
There is no point now for the students to gallop around expressing their solidarity. The guy is dead. They should have protested the expulsion when it happened, when they walked past the tent in the wilderness. For doing nothing to right the wrong. Where was the teaching faculty? Where were the student union representatives? That these five students were expelled was not a state secret.
Maybe some of us are naive and dense and have limited grey matter but through five years of college hostel I cannot once recall asking anyone what his caste was...it was not a factor. It never came up and nobody cared. So this expression of intense outrage is hypocrisy of the first order. Nobody did anything and now that indifference has come back to bite the conscience.
There is no virtue in this death, nothing to romanticise. No redeeming feature except that one human being was hounded into ending his life. Even in his death they are squabbling over his body and the righteousness we see on display becomes grist for another media circus.
Perhaps it is time to ban all political parties from campuses. By law. To ensure that the only elections held are for mess secretary, for that, after Mum and Dad have paid for their educational investment in a better life, is the second most important consideration. Food.
Parents of students, by virtue of being sheep, have no capacity to protest anything. They are held hostage by children and by school authorities. They just keep paying out money so their kids can masquerade as political entities and engage in activities that have no role in the years on campus.
Did this guy have to die for everyone to realise that universities are toxic political nests? And will anything be done to end the scourge. Don't hold your breath.