“Rohith had written that a man’s identity was reduced to a vote and a thing. These words became a reality in just four years,” Radhika Vemula said.

Rohith Payal and Najeebs mothers to launch yatra against CAAImage: Balakrishna Ganeshan
news Protest Friday, January 17, 2020 - 17:49

On Rohith Vemula’s fourth death anniversary, Radhika Vemula announced that she along with Payal Tadvi’s mother Abida and Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees would launch ‘Mothers for the Nation Yatra’ – a nationwide anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) tour.

“I did not know what was happening with him (Rohith) in the university and let him die. But I will not let this country die, I will fight to save it,” Radhika Vemula said, addressing the crowd at Lamakaan in Hyderabad.

On January 17, 2016, Rohith Vemula, a Dalit scholar, had killed himself allegedly after facing caste-discrimination in the University of Hyderabad. To mark his death anniversary, a talk was hosted by ‘We the People’ against CAA, NPR and NRC on Friday. 

Recalling Rohith’s last words, Radhika Vemula said, “Rohith had written that a man’s identity was reduced to a vote and a thing. These words became a reality in just four years,” referring to CAA. Stating that Amit Shah and Narendra Modi were Aryans, whose ancestors invaded India, she said that Shah and Modi should first prove their citizenship. 

She alleged, “The CAA is an attempt to make the country a Hindu rashtra by the Modi government.” 

“I have been struggling for the past four years. I still stitch clothes to survive. After watching all these student protests in JNU, my blood is boiling again. Let Modi and Shah prove where they come from first. In any case, we should not tolerate this,” she said. 

Radhika said that she made a resolve to strongly fight against the BJP-led Union government after the the violence in JNU. 

Politician and psephologist Yogendra Yadav also spoke at the event, and said, “We have lost our way home. We will go forward and so will Hindustan. This is about saving the soul of India.”

Payal Tadvi’s mother Abida was also present at the event. Payal Tadvi, a medical student from National Medical College and BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai killed herself last year in May, allegedly due to caste-discrimination by her seniors. 

Najeeb Ahmed, a student of biotechnology at JNU, went missing on October 15, 2016, allegedly after an altercation with members of the ABVP. 

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