BMTC bus driver requests euthanasia in letter to President, PM
A sacked BMTC bus driver, Shambulingaiah, wrote a letter to President Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting their permission for euthanasia for him and his family.
A letter written in February by a sacked employee of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) in Bengaluru has recently been making the rounds. In the letter, the former BMTC bus driver, identified as Shambulingaiah, requested President Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant their permission for euthanasia for him and his family.
Shambulingaiah is said to have been fired from the department after officials suspected him to have participated in the transport strike that happened in April 2021. The BMTC had suspended over 96 employees for participating in it, according to an official release.
In the letter with the subject line: “Give/grant permission to (sic) suicide/death to Karnataka Site Transport Employees,” Shambulingaiah wrote, "I am a responsible employee of this organization." Mentioning the transport strike, he said, “getting fired means my brood (children) have fallen out on the street. They have no money for a banquet (food)."
He further wrote that he has ‘begged ministers, the managing director and all the officials of the organization’ to give him work to save the lives of his family members and ‘allow them to live with dignity in this society’, but so far they have not responded to his request.
He also mentioned that ‘there was a kind of discriminatory wage revision for the ruling class officials and a kind of discriminatory wage revision for hard-working lower class workers’. Saying that none of his demands were met, he asked the president and prime minister to “give back the work” that he had previously done, or “ask them to give him some kindness”. Shambulingaiah then signed off with a “This is your offended employee.”
In April 2021, protesters that went on strike demanded revised pays for government transport workers. The 14-day strike cost the government in millions of rupees and resulted in authorities firing more than 4000 workers across the four state-run transport corporations involved in the strike.
Reports said that multiple sacked employees from the state transport department have committed suicide in the past, and several more are struggling to make ends meet.
Shambulingaiah added in his letter that, “Some of those involved in the strike have been re-employed. Now I have no choice, please euthanize me. The government and the BMTC are directly responsible for my death if I ever die.”