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Rohith, an Ideology against Manu’s Progeny

Rohith, an Ideology against Manu’s Progeny

rohith vemula asa


Purna Naik

BAPSA (Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association), JNU

The progeny of Manu have been injecting poison once again in the name of “truth” and “lies”. However, it is not a secret anymore to anyone that both “truth” and “lies” are manufactured by these history- sheeters since time immemorial. First Manu, through his “Supreme Laws” denied the Dalits, Adivasis, Women and other marginalised communities the fundamental right to be thinking, acting, human beings. They were systematically barred from accessing public spaces and resources of various kinds. Manu ordains that, similar to a drum, the Shudras and Women are only meant for being beaten. They only deserve to be beaten up at every available chance.

rohith vemula asa


It is no wonder then that the progeny of Manu, who populate the university spaces (including JNU – oh yes, there are so many of them here) are beating about the caste of Rohith Vemula. It is no wonder that for these flag-bearers of Patriarchy and apologists for the enslavement of women in Ramayana and Mahabharata, it is the caste of the father in the ascriptive Hindu social hierarchy that is all-important and which determines the social standing of a person. For centuries, Manu’s law was practiced to dictate the life and death of the entire society, and more so of the oppressed community. Now his progeny in universities carry this practice forward. They execute their sacred duty of allotting caste and creed of different kinds to different communities in accordance to their hideous scriptures, based on their convenience.

When it became amply clear that Rohith was actually a revolutionary Dalit, it took the wind out of their sails and they rummaged for counter evidences in an attempt to save their mentors (read the VC Appa Rao, Bandaru Dattatreya, ManuSmriti Irani) from being booked under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act (PoA 1989). For the progeny of Manu, it is not really important whether Rohith was a human being or not, whether his death (read murder) was condemnable or not. Does human life matter or not? But then, when did the human life of a Dalit ever matter to them? For Manu and his Progeny, a Dalit life is not even worth the life of an animal. If we are expecting answers to these questions from the progeny of Manu, then we are deceiving and fooling ourselves in clear day light.

Why was Rohith’s scholarship abruptly stopped? Does it not amount to mental harassment and psychological torture when a doctoral student is not given his hard earned scholarship money? (Many scholarship holders in JNU know it by now and there is no need to labour the point). Why was letter after letter sent to the VC through the MHRD? Is this country being run by certain fundamental documents (the Constitution) or do the BJP-RSS-VHP-ABVP think that the country, the institutions, the universities are their private property and belong to their personal fiefdom, where they can intervene, manipulate, “teach lessons” and go around sticking tags of different types such as “anti-national”, “extremist” as and when they fancy?

Friends, the sequence of events that ultimately led to the death (murder) of Rohith show a very systematic, repeating trend. The phenomenon of Rohith has to be elevated to a larger level and has to be analyzed very seriously to discern the underlying pattern of the whole saga of Right-wing conspiracy in it. Rohith is an ideology that questioned and shook the very foundation of the brahminical socio-cultural structure. Rohith is an extension and a volcanic eruption of the long legacy of anti-brahminicial ideology that can be traced back to the Buddha and Ambedkar. Rohith is emblematic of the Ambedkarite emancipatory politics which has been taking formidable shape across the country and university spaces. Rohith is the beacon that signals the marginalised masses to come together and fight a relentless battle which will usher in a new day of liberty, equality and fraternity where “the value of a man (human being) will transcend his (their) immediate identity”.

Across the country, the eruption of solidarity from Dalit-Bahujan and other marginalised sections with the idea of Rohith underscores the simmering discontent in the centuries-old brahminical structure. The ring leaders in the Right-wing have realized this formidable potential and threat that the Ambedkarite emancipatory politics poses to their status quo. They have realized that the very section of people who their master Manu sought to condemn forever into slavery, are the only impending dynamic force that will blow up the very structure of slavery. The very idea of Ambedkar and Ambedkarites is an anathema to the Right-wing’s Brahminical-Hindutva ideology. Hence they stealthily attacked “the formidable five” using the state apparatus in a vain attempt to crush one Rohith, but thousands of Rohiths have blossomed across the country to strike the overdue blow. The crocodiles might shed a drop or two of calculated tears, but we reject outright their handed-down phony sympathy. The need of the hour is Social Justice, to Rohith Vemula, to the thousands of Rohiths that are striving day in and day out to assert themselves, to express themselves, to prepare the ground for the Annihilation of Caste and Liberation of humanity from the grip of caste and Brahminism. Justice and only justice, nothing less than that will douse the inflamed anger. Justice will prevail. We will make it prevail. Long Live Ambedkarite politics, Long Live Rohith Vemula!