A person committed suicide on 17-Jan-2016 in Hyderabad.
Not a Dalit. Not a student. Not a Hyderabadi, or a Telengana person or an Andhra person.
Not an ASA member.
Once we have that in our head, only then do we even deserve to talk about it.
Any act of ending one’s own life, immaterial of who committed it, is a testament of our failure as a society. And any attempt at defining it in any other manner is nothing but hypocrisy. To ask what we could have done is a reinforcement to that hypocrisy. It is because of what we have done or not done over years of our time or even the few days leading up to the act that drives a person to shun their gift of life.
“Dalit Phd Scholar”, “Dalit Scholar”, “Dalit Student” sing all the psychotic abominable printed or web-hosted pieces of misinformation that we call newspapers nowadays. To all those newspapers I ask one question – how about the next time we talk about you, we mention you like this – “Blah Blah Newspaper covers….Marwari Journalist XYZ is on the scene.. Bengali Brahmin AG is interviewing.. the Journalism award goes to Dalit Congress supporting Miss ABC”
Sounds strange? Harsh even?
How did we get here? The death of a living, breathing, ideating, thoughtful human being is reduced to his caste identity. Pray tell us, what is the need for all these reservations, schemes, and progress markers meant to uplift backward castes if we keep reinforcing the same onto everybody’s faces every time any news comes up, even something as sensitive as a death!
Just imagine the condition of a parent who has to see the news “Dalit Phd Scholar commits suicide” and then guess that probably it is their child because they are Dalits. Bravo, you just reminded them, and everybody else which caste they belong to. And we claim to have come over the caste system. Bull****.
Even before the body had gone cold, the caste identity was made the main issue of this news and politicians had descended on this landscape like vultures on an unconscious famished traveler. The scent of tragedy is too lucrative a meal for them to forego. After all, what would the party in power do if not defend itself prematurely? And what would the opposition do if not dig into the suicide and point the blood soaked fingers at the ruling institution? From Kejriwal to Derek’O Brien to Mayawati, every single one of them have had similar or worse situations in their own areas of governance. One nonchalantly continued a rally, one couldn’t make a 300km journey, and one was probably busy admiring new statue designs. I am not saying that they don’t have the right to be concerned about issues in other states. But they actually don’t have the right if they are periodically ignoring questions about those issues and dealing with them half-heartedly or with red tape. The ones who couldn’t make it are probably still trying to figure out what the issue is about and what they stand to gain.
I have read the letter. I could read a suicide letter of someone who died 3 days ago, whom I have possibly no other connections to. That in itself is appalling. But I have.
We could not be more wrong in what we are doing for him. Or not doing.
Every single person who has ended their lives disappointed in this society, we could not let them down more spectacularly.
We have taken a beautiful life and its sad culmination and made a brilliantly stupid and retarded political media circus out of it.
We were a rich country of inventors and innovators. We still are. We invent our own misery. Every day, on the front page.