Saluting Rohith Vemula on Republic Day: Meena Kandasamy and Ravichandran Bathran

Meena Kandasamy in The Hindu:

Rohith, you have left behind your dream of becoming a science writer like Carl Sagan, and left us with only your words. Each of our words now carries the weight of your death, every tear carries your unrealised dream. We will become the explosive stardust that you speak of, the stardust that will singe this oppressive system of caste. Within every university, every college, every school in this country, each of our slogans will carry the spirit of your struggle. Dr. Ambedkar spoke of caste as the monster that crosses ones path every way one turns, and within the agraharams that are the Indian educational institutions, our very physical presence must embody the message of caste annihilation. Let every despicable casteist force wince when they encounter a Dalit, a Shudra, an Adivasi, a Bahujan, a woman staking claim within academia, let them realise that we have come here to end a system that has kept trying hard to put an end to us, that we have come here to cause nightmares to those who dared to snatch our dreams. Let them realise that Vedic times, the era of pouring molten lead into the ears of the Shudras who hear the sacred texts, the era of cutting the tongues of those who dared to utter the knowledge that was denied to them, are long gone. Let them understand that we have stormed these bastions to educate, to agitate, to organise; we did not come here to die. We have come to learn, but let the monsters of caste and their henchmen bear in mind that we have come here also to teach them an unforgettable lesson.

Read the rest of this tribute here.


A person who is conscious of and sensitive about caste discrimination is certain to become alienated in every psychological, emotional, social and political sense in today’s campuses that breed free-market-loving, reservation hating students who benefit from caste-intensive social networks. This is why the Dalit and anti-caste students’ movement is crucial in democratising our campuses. These outfits question the present, past and future of the society we live in. They may be few in number and not always successful, but their actions are solely committed to the welfare of Dalit students as they have no other support system in our campuses. I am proud to say that many like me are the product of such movements in the universities.

Read the whole article here

2 thoughts on “Saluting Rohith Vemula on Republic Day: Meena Kandasamy and Ravichandran Bathran”

  1. Rohit sacrifice (not commit suicide) has ignited a forest of suppressed castes/minorities to fight brahminical tyranny just as the sacrifice of the soul (‘atma balidaanam’ as Gadar often refers in telugu to stress the incidents of self-immolations) by Srikant Chary created a sea of protests in Hyderabad and elsewhere to fight for seperate Telengana State. The sacrificial blood of the martyrs does not go waste.

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