Published: 17th January 2021
#ThrowBackToday: When Rohith Vemula's suicide brought attention to discrimination in educational institutions
In today's #TBT, we mourn the death of scholar Rohith Vemula and refer to the lines he wrote in his letter before he died by suicide. Also, keeping MH370 and its passengers in our prayers, always
When was the last time reading a letter gave you goosebumps? For many, it was on January 17, 2016, when the scholar ‘made of stardust’ Rohith Vemula died by suicide. "The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote. To a number. To a thing", the Dalit student and PhD candidate studying at the University of Hyderabad stated in his letter. His scholarship was withheld after a complaint filed by ABVP members. The letter shook the nation or at least parts of it. Yet discrimination of Dalits on campuses is a wound that continues to fester.
The last words of the letter were: "Let my funeral be silent and smooth. Behave like I just appeared and gone. Do not shed tears for me. Know that I am happy dead than being alive."
Lost and not found
Can flights still disappear in this age of technology? It happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, best known as MH370, and along with it 239 people on board vanished too. On January 17, 2017, after three painful years, the search was officially called off and mankind gave up all hope. The recent vanishing of Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 also breaks the heart.