Rohit Vemula should have been a role model not a political football

It is asserted by his father that he is not a Dalit and Government officials say that his mother got the caste tag by wrongly representing her caste. It does not matter. More important is the question about the suicide of Rohit Vemula.

He has achieved significantly in his life by becoming a research Scholar at the central university. He even dreamt of becoming a Carl Sagan according to reports.

He should have pursued his ambitions got his doctorate. There is nothing on the record to show that he was denied any facilities accorded to a doctoral student. He had the computer, he had library and he had several teachers.

But he instead of becoming a role model to hundreds of Dalit students who are younger to him fell for the “victimhood trap”

Unfortunately he was from a dys-functional family. Naxal and other left student organisations eagerly wait for such a “student” like vultures waiting for their prey.

They instigate and increase the sense of Victim hood- They prevent students from pursuing studies and encourage them to do full time politics.

The standard operating procedure of extreme left organisations is to lure the vulnerable students. Of course many well to do and rich categories are lured by their western masters in Columbia and Yale and oxford as in the case of many communist leaders/thinkers.

But the local vulnerable segments spend hours and days in doing political activities egged on by “victimhood” and miss major golden opportunities to pursue their studies/exams and assignments.

Vemula should not be glorified and provided as an example of an excellent student misled and damaged by his political groups.

Not only is that suicide not an option for such a student. It should never be kept as a role model by Raul Gandhi or Aravind Kejirwal. They should realise the huge mistake in projecting him as a martyr or role model they are making many other vulnerable students from dys-functional families to emulate or imitate them.

Proper method would be to squarely condemn the action of Vemula for committing suicide instead of acting as a major role model for weaker sections.

This author has had hundreds of Dalit students over years who have done very well in their professional careers even heading big divisions and corporates. They don’t cry victimhood but they are the role models and achievers.

The MSM do not find them; interview them nor felicitate them. Rahul does not call them for tea.

It is not news worthy to project a successful Dalit student from IITs or IIMs since it will not increase the guilt factor among these political vultures nor give them mileage for milking the misery of a mother or relatives.

More insidious and dangerous is a trend to encourage suicides and all these leaders can be accused as abetting suicides. It is not really fashionable to appreciate achievers but to demonise them and glorify victimhood.

We are in a peculiar world where victimhood is worshipped and those who overcome it and achieve it are not even recognised. Can we call it era of false Gods being worshipped when their action deserve only derision or at most pity. Era of victimhood dominates that of achievers and role models.

The author is Professor of Finance at IIM Bangalore. The views are personal

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