By Abdul Bari Masoud, MM News,
New Delhi: The tragic suicide by Dalit Research Scholar Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad has snowballed into a major controversy as opposition on Monday demanded immediate sacking of Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya from the Modi cabinet. The opposition political parties also termed the incident as yet again a blatant manifestation of the anti dalit agenda and mind set of the Government at the Centre and its controller, the RSS.
Briefing the media here, Congress spokesman R P N Singh said Union Minister for Labour and Employment must resign with immediate effect as his position has became indefensible after an FIR was registered against him.
“Now that an FIR has been registered against the Union Minister Shri Bandaru Dattatreya and the letter written by him prima facie amounts to abetment of suicide, the Indian National Congress demands that Shri Dattatreya resigns with immediate effect failing which the PM should sack him immediately”, he said.
Condemning Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, the CPI also said his position had become untenable and the Modi government will have to answer. CPI national secretary D Raja said described the entire episode as “shocking” and claimed that Dalit students do face discrimination at “many institutions” in the country. He said that India cannot emerge as a nation as long as caste exists in the country.
“That is why Ambedkar is correct when he had said caste is anti-national. As long as caste exists, India cannot emerge a nation, forget civilization. This is highly condemnable. There must be severe action culprits involved,” the Communist added.
The ruling party of Telangana state TRS also blamed Labour Minister Dattetreya for the tragic incident. TRS MP and daughter of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, K. Kavitha on Monday said the pressure by two union ministers on University of Hyderabad vice chancellor led to suspension of five Dalit research scholars and one of them committed suicide.
Taking the cognizance of the incident, the National SC/ST commission said that justice will be delivered. PL Punia, the chairman of commission, said there is absolutely no proof that deceased Dalit scholar was involved in any scuffle, even the security staff said that the allegations levelled against him were false. Despite all that, he was suspended.
The Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) said that Rohit Vemula, a 28-year-old, hailing from Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, was a Ph.D second year student who committed suicide a few hours back in his hostel room. The ASA insisted that “it wasn’t a suicide. It was murder by the University of Hyderabad administration and the goons of ABVP-RSS-BJP….”
Raising concern over growing atrocities on dalit and weaker sections, Congress spokesperson R P N Singh said anti- dalit agenda of the government and the RSS in full display through various acts of omission and commission.
“States like Rajasthan, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh saw gross atrocities on dalit citizens even as the State and Central Governments looked away- indeed acted in connivance with the perpetrators of these atrocities. Rather than bringing the guilty to book and providing relief to the victims- the Union Minister Shri VK Singh compared dalit children to dogs”, he added.
In reply to a question, congress leader said a systematic atmosphere against the dalits and backward classes is being created by BJP – RSS over last few months. He asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi or BJP President Amit Shah not condemned the statement of Mohan Bhagwat on reservation till date.
Anti-dalit mindset of Modi government is not restricted to insulting remarks and review of reservation alone but extends to widespread cuts in welfare schemes for Scheduled Castes. In Union Budget 2015-16 alone, Modi government imposed a cut of Rs.19, 734 crore in Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan reducing it from Rs.50, 548 crore in 2014-15 to Rs.30, 850 crore in 2015-16.