Narendra Modi breaks down as he break three day silence on Rohith Vemula’s suicide
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday broke his silence in the University of Hyderabad on the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula, and broke down while referring to the event, saying he could feel the agony and pain of the family of Rohith.
Modi’s emotional outpouring came during his speech at the Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) convocation here. But the authorities whisked them away, even as Modi continued, absolutely unruffled.
“The reasons for his suicide as well as the politics over his suicide are a different problem. However, the fact is that a mom has lost her son,” Modi said. “A child of my country, Rohith, needed to commit suicide… I can feel what his family has gone through,” the PM said, his voice trembling with emotion. It appeared he would break into tears any moment.
Modi then paused, got his composure and continued. “At a time when the whole nation looks up to the youth for inspiration and strength, a news like this brings sadness,” he said and appealed to youngsters not to take such an extreme step.
While Modi’s moving reference to the Dalit pupil’s suicide was fairly impulsive, what was foreseeable was his attempt to drive the Dalit program in light of the 2017 UP Assembly election of the BJP.
Apart from the convocation at BBAU, which puts a premium on SC/ST students, Modi also seen with the Ambedkar Mahasabha, which houses the urn containing the celebrated Dalit leader’s ashes.
At the BBAU function, he dedicated a major part of his address to heap praise on Ambedkar. About Dalit welfare, too, Modi spoke at another public rally in Varanasi earlier in the day, saying his government is dedicated to Dalits and the poor.
Judicial panel set up
After the two-member HRD team indicated lack of sensitivity revealed in certain regions by Hyderabad University authorities in dealing with events which resulted in suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula, the ministry on Friday announced setting up of a judicial commission that will look into the matter. HRD minister Smriti Irani also discussed to Rohith’s mum apprise her of the steps taken in the issue and to convey her despair, official sources said.