A 26-year-old Dalit PhD scholar committed suicide in a hostel room in Hyderabad Central University (HCU), days after he was expelled from the hostel 12 days ago. V. Rohith was found hanging on Monday morning. He was among the five research scholars who were suspended by the central university administration in August last year, and he had been accused, along with others, of assaulting a student leader, said police.
The suspension was revoked later.
"I feel a growing gap between my soul and my body," Rohit said in his suicide note. "And I have become a monster."
He ended his suicide note by holding himself responsible for his death: "No one has instigated me, whether by their acts or by their words to this act. This is my decision and I am the only one responsible for this. Do not trouble my friends and enemies on this after I am gone."
His body has been sent for postmortem, said police.
After his body was found, several students gathered around the campus and raised slogans, asking for a case under SC/ST Atrocity Act to be registered against Union minister and BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya. They claimed that Dattatreya had asked the HRD ministry to take action against the five scholars including Rohit.
A section of students had last week laid a siege to the Administrative Building of the HCU against the suspension of the research scholars.
The students under the umbrella of a Joint Action Committee (JAC) had termed the suspension as "undemocratic" and as a "social boycott" since the five research scholars were denied access to hostels and were forced to sleep in a makeshift tent on the campus.
Based on the recommendations of a sub-committee of the Executive Council, the five were denied access to hostels on the campus except their classrooms and workshops related to their subject of study.
The council had recommended the punishment based on a Proctorial Committee inquiry. The committee was constituted after an ABVP activist was attacked on the campus, police said.
Here's the text of the suicide note the young student left behind.
I would not be around when you read this letter. Don’t get angry on me. I know some of you truly cared for me, loved me and treated me very well. I have no complaints on anyone. It was always with myself I had problems. I feel a growing gap between my soul and my body. And I have become a monster. I always wanted to be a writer. A writer of science, like Carl Sagan. At last, this is the only letter I am getting to write.
I loved Science, Stars, Nature, but then I loved people without knowing that people have long since divorced from nature. Our feelings are second handed. Our love is constructed. Our beliefs colored. Our originality valid through artificial art. It has become truly difficult to love without getting hurt.
The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote. To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of star dust. In very field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living.
I am writing this kind of letter for the first time. My first time of a final letter. Forgive me if I fail to make sense.
My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past.
May be I was wrong, all the while, in understanding world. In understanding love, pain, life, death. There was no urgency. But I always was rushing. Desperate to start a life. All the while, some people, for them, life itself is curse. My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past.
I am not hurt at this moment. I am not sad. I am just empty. Unconcerned about myself. That’s pathetic. And that’s why I am doing this.
People may dub me as a coward. And selfish, or stupid once I am gone. I am not bothered about what I am called. I don’t believe in after-death stories, ghosts, or spirits. If there is anything at all I believe, I believe that I can travel to the stars. And know about the other worlds.
If you, who is reading this letter can do anything for me, I have to get 7 months of my fellowship, one lakh and seventy five thousand rupees. Please see to it that my family is paid that. I have to give some 40 thousand to Ramji. He never asked them back. But please pay that to him from that.
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.
“From shadows to the stars.”
Uma anna, sorry for using your room for this thing.
To ASA family, sorry for disappointing all of you. You loved me very much. I wish all the very best for the future.
For one last time,
I forgot to write the formalities. No one is responsible for my this act of killing myself.
No one has instigated me, whether by their acts or by their words to this act.
This is my decision and I am the only one responsible for this.
Do not trouble my friends and enemies on this after I am gone.
If you struggle with suicidal thoughts or attempts, call any of these helplines: Aasra 91-22-27546669, Sneha 04424640050, Jeevan 0091 6576453841, Pratheeksha 0484 2448830.
(with agency inputs)
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