15 June, 2021

Question 1.A): Does Death Have A Caste?

The deeper you go into the Rohith Vemula story, the more you find dignity. Outside it, pettiness still rules.

R.V. Appa Rao
Question 1.A): Does Death Have A Caste?
outlookindia.com
2016-02-29T18:17:52+05:30

The edges of a poster, stuck loos­ely on the wall at a santapa sabha for Rohith Vemula, flaps about in the draught. A train is whizz­ing past on the track about 50 feet away. Four boys, who have bunked school, play a game of spitting into the open drain which rings the colony like a river. This is Ramireddythota, Prakashnagar. The auto driver who takes me there does so only after a little cajoling: the place has some notoriety as one of Guntur’s “red-light streets”. Claustrophobic, decaying houses stand in a huddle. This is where Rohith Vemula spent his childhood till he went on to join the Andhra Pradesh Residential Junior College in Hindupur after Class X.

Populated mostly by lower-middle-class Malas and Vadderas, Ramireddythota is now the cynosure of all eyes. House No. 923, where Rohith’s adoptive grandmother Anj­ani Devi lives, has a string of visitors, mostly officials making enquiries. Rohith’s mother Radhika and younger brother Raja Chaita­nya Kumar Vemula are away, giving a statement to the Guntur joint collector about...

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