He was only 21 years old, but Abhishek was not Rohit Vemula. If he were, by now every mainstream media house and, especially, the self-proclaimed guardians of liberalism and secularism would have been crying hoarse. For even though Abhishek took the extreme step almost under similar circumstances as Rohit Vemula, his ‘fault’ was that he was a member of the ABVP – which to the intellectuals is the epitome of all things communal.
Abhishek was a B.Com final year student of the Sri JCBM College in Sringeri in Karnataka.
On January 7 the ABVP had decided to organise a programme called ‘Yodha Namana’ – Salute to Soldiers – in the college. They had invited noted writer and columnist Chakravarti Sulibele.
The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the student’s union of Congress, which is in power in the state, objected and forced the principal to decline the invitation to Sulibele citing the usual law & order problem.
This allegedly led to a scuffle between ABVP and NSUI following which the NSUI student leader filed an FIR against some ABVP members including Abhishek.
Bangalore Mirror quotes an official saying:
“This left Abhishek totally shaken and upset. In the death note, he has asked forgiveness from his father and said that he was being blamed for no fault of his. If he was actually involved in the assault, he would not have resorted to the extreme step. Since his name was included in the FIR, he felt that his future was at stake.”
Any student can feel quite threatened if an FIR is filed against him or her. A report in The Hindu says that the accused were “never summoned or enquired”.
His father, Kalasappa, an agriculturist, has filed a complaint against the NSUI president and others accusing them of filing a false complaint against Abhishek. Kalasappa also blames the college management for his son’s death.
Meanwhile, a campaign calling ‘Justice for Abhishek’ has been started by the ABVP.
Even Chakravarty Sulibele tweeted in support.
Congress and Communist joining hands in killing an innocent student of Sringeri, Karnataka. CM in deep sleep!!… https://t.co/lx3LgnBniu
— Chakravarty Sulibele (@astitvam) 11 January 2017
Protests have been organised, too.
— Rajesh Padmar (@rajeshpadmar) 11 January 2017
Vemula’s death was shocking. It was a sad reflection on campus politics which often makes the students sacrifice a bright future and exploits them in the name of ideology, whichever it may be. What made things disgusting was the media treatment of Vemula’s death.
Some ‘elite’ journalists put the lens on Vemula’s caste because that was what would get them the TRPs and allow them to further anti-BJP political stand. So, just to earn some more money and strengthen their own political bias, those journalists backed by the intellectuals turned the debate on Vemula’s death from campus politics to caste politics.
By ignoring Abhishek’s death those ‘elite’ journalists and the profound intellectuals are proving their hypocrisy.