Raja Chaitanya Kumar Vemula, brother of Rohith Vemula, the Dalit research scholar whose suicide earlier this year sparked nationwide outrage, has refused to join the Grade-IV job offered to him by the Delhi Government. He has, however, said he would reconsider if offered a better post.
Raja, who was offered a Lower Division Clerk (Grade-IV) job in the Delhi Administrative Services through a letter dated April 4, has written to the Kejriwal government asking for a couple of months to consider the job offer.
“Soon after I got an offer letter, I wrote to the Delhi government seeking a higher position. I also sought two months’ time, instead of two-week deadline. I am awaiting a reply,” Raja told HT on Wednesday.
His friends said he was not happy with the Grade-IV job offered to him.They also said he was upset with the PIL filed by petitioner Avadhut Kaushik challenging the Delhi Cabinet’s decision to provide a job as well as a government accommodation to Raja on out of turn basis. “Let me see how the government responds,” Raja said.
Venkatesh Chowhan, convenor of University of Hyderabad’s Joint Action Committee of students and lecturers, told HT that Raja was not interested in accepting the job offer made by Kejriwal government. “It was a petty job, that too, given on a temporary basis. We have also written to the Kejriwal government to consider giving him a bigger post keeping in view his qualification. However, there has been no response from the Delhi government till date,” he said.
Raja holds a Post-Graduate degree in Applied Geology from Pondicherry University, with 72.8 per cent marks. He also qualified the National Eligibility Test (NET) recently and wants to pursue his PhD course.
University Of Hyderabad professor Tathagat Sengupta, who has been leading the agitation seeking justice for Rohit Vemula, told HT that the job offer made by the Delhi Government was not befitting Raja’s qualification. “He should not have been offered such a small job. If Kejriwal had sympathy for Rohith’s family, he should have provided a bigger post,” he said.
Rohith’s friends and faculty in the UoH are of the view that justice would be done if the University itself comes forward to provide a suitable job to Raja Vemula. “Why such a small post in Delhi which is very far? Raja should be given a job in the University of Hyderabad itself. That will be a tribute to Rohith,” Venkatesh said.