The body of Eramina Murali, 21, was found hanging Sunday evening in the washroom of Maneru Hostel at Osmania University (OU), where he was a postgraduate student of Physics. A suicide note said he was taking the step as he feared failing in exams that were scheduled to begin Monday.
Murali’s suicide has now triggered a strike and protests on the campus, which was an epicentre for Telangana movement. The students said the suicide has triggered the simmering discontent among Telangana youth over the lack of government jobs in the new state. Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which formed the first government in Telangana, promised to create one lakh jobs. Three years on, students leaders said the youth are hopeless.
“Students from across Telangana participated in the statehood agitation and Osmania was the epicentre. Now, OU has once again become epicentre of the anger of unemployed youth in Telangana. A few hundred people have been recruited in police and other departments but the promise of over one lakh jobs has not been fulfilled. Like Murali, lakhs of youths who graduated in the past three years are awaiting government notifications but are disappointed. His friends say he worried that despite completing postgraduation, he might not get a job because there is no recruitment. Depression has set in among students who pinned hopes on the TRS government and CM K Chandrashekar Rao,’’ said D Naresh, a postgraduate student in Mass Communication and Journalism at OU and state president of Dalit Minorities Student Association.
Naresh said, “Murali’s suicide is to unemployment in Telangana what Rohith Vemula’s suicide was to discrimination against Dalits”.
Murali hailed from an extremely poor family from Doulapur village of Siddipet district. Residents of Doulapur said his father E Mallesh, a tenant farmer, died when Murali was five. He, his brother Raju and sister Kavita were brought up by their mother Lakshmi, a farm labourer. As Murali did well in school, some people from the village paid for his Intermediate education. While his sister and brother dropped out, Murali obtained a BSc degree and joined OU for MSc. “He and his mother hoped he would land a government job and they could lead a better life,’’ said Srinivas Reddy, the former village sarpanch.
Student leader K Manavatha Roy said, “Murali’s death represents the hopelessness Telangana’s jobless youth are facing. Those who have done engineering or medicine will get jobs in private sector but the lakhs of Arts or Science graduates are pinning their hopes on government recruitment”.
On October 31, a day before Telangana Joint Action Committee launched Koluvaloku Kotlata (fight for jobs), CM Rao reiterated that his government was committed to fill 1.12 lakh vacancies in the next few months.
Sources in Telangana State Public Service Commission said 75 notifications to recruit 25,000 people in various departments have been issued, but so far about 7,000 posts have been filled and the rest are under process.
An official said, “Police department has recruited about 10,000 constables and sub-inspectors. State-owned PSUs have recruited 4,000 people. In all, approximately 21,000 recruitments have been done so far.’’
After the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, newly created Telangana had 5,23,673 government posts. Of this, 3,15,849 staff were already working in various departments, leaving 2,53,826 posts vacant. Since then, nearly 50,000 employees have retired, leaving over 3 lakh vacancies. Moreover, the TRS government increased the number of districts from 10 to 31 and vacancies in the new districts are yet to be filled.
“Recruitment is under process,’’ says Chairman of Telangana State Public Service Commission Prof G Chakrapani.