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To Honour Rohith Vemula's Memory, His Brother Refuses To Join Politics, Becomes An Autorickshaw Driver

Raja Vemula, who has an M.Sc in Applied Geography, wants to become a scientist.

16/01/2017 10:53 AM IST | Updated 16/01/2017 11:46 AM IST
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The tragic circumstances of Rohith Vemula's suicide at the University of Hyderabad in January last year not only turned him into a household name, but triggered a nationwide agitation over Dalit rights and called into question the role of the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership in the death of the Ph.D. student.

One year on, his brother, Raja Vemula, who holds a postgraduate degree in Applied Geography and wants to become a scientist, is driving a goods autorickshaw between Guntur and Tenali to make ends meet, The Hindu reported today.

Vemula said that at least two political parties had approached him with offers, but he had turned them down because his brother would have "hated" it.

"Many people offered me a job including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. But if I take up the job from politicians, I will be forced to toe the line with them, which my brother hated. Now that I am on a mission to seek justice and also spearheading a movement, I will try for a job later," Vemula told the newspaper.

"I am not finding it difficult to work as a driver. I need to stay close to my mother and help her," he said.

But Vemula hasn't given up on his dream of becoming a scientist and is waiting for circumstances to improve. His family has incurred additional expenditure addressing various rallies and attending meetings which were organized after his brother's death.

On joining politics, he also told The Hindu, "Before Dalits, we are Indians. The government should realise it. We want equal treatment. We are not fighting for fame, money or power."

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