Protest rallies, high-pitch slogans, emotional speeches and arrests marked the Rohith Vemula Shahadath Din (Rohith Vemula Martyrdom Day) at the University of Hyderabad campus on Tuesday, on the research scholar’s first death anniversary.
Rohith’s mother Radhika Vemula gave a speech at the commemoration meeting. She was later arrested along with her younger son Raja and others while proceeding to Velivada (ghetto of outcast Dalit students at the shopping complex on the university campus) to garland Rohith’s statue and pay homage to her departed son.
Addressing the gathering earlier, Radhika called for the unity of Dalits, adivasis, backward classes and Muslims to fight against the upper caste hegemony. She appealed to the students to not commit suicide but continue the legacy of her son in fighting against the caste discrimination.
“Remember that your mothers are waiting for you at home. No doubt, Ambedkar is our god, but don’t forget that your amma” (mother) is more important for you. Don’t get depressed and resort to extreme steps if you face discrimination. Share your feelings with your mother. My son would have been alive now, had he come to me and shared his grief,” she said.