Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide on January 17, mentioned the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) and the Students Federation of India (SFI) in his suicide note, but eventually struck off the 11 lines referring to the two organisations.
“I myself strike these words,” he wrote below the lines and signed.
Rohith was a member of SFI before he joined the ASA.
The lines that were struck off read: “ASA, SFI, anything and everything exist for their own sake. Seldom the interest of a person and this organisation match. To get power, to become famous or to be important in between boundaries and to think we are up to changing the system. Very often we overestimate the acts and find solace in traits. Of course I must give my credit to both groups for making, introducing me to wonderful literature and people.”
Rohith, who wrote the letter on the morning of January 17, kept it in his pocket as he attended an ASA meeting in the afternoon. He went to a friend’s room at 4 pm and hanged himself.
“I don’t think he meant what he said about ASA. He was dedicated and passionate about the work ASA was doing. He may have been disillusioned for a moment while he was writing the letter. Otherwise, he would not have struck it off,” said a friend who did not wish to be named.