A Congress member in Rajya Sabha on Thursday alleged that the family members of Rohith Vemula, who had committed suicide in the Hyderabad University, were being ill-treated. Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, P L Punia said the Justice Roopanwal Commission set up to look into the suicide has not said anything on the terms of reference given to it. Instead, the panel has said Vemula was not a dalit, but OBC, and he had committed suicide due to personal despair, the Congress member said. He further said Vemula’s family was being ill-treated and has been given notice to cancel the caste certificate.
Punia demanded that the mental harassment of the family should be stopped. The suicide of Vemula had triggered a political furore across the country, particularly in several universities. Vemula, a student at the University of Hyderabad, had committed suicide on January 17, 2016, accusing the administration of caste-based discrimination. Days before that, Vemula had been suspended from the university along with five other students for allegedly assaulting a leader of the RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
In his Zero Hour mention, D P Tripathi (NCP) expressed concern over India’s low ranking at the United Nation’s World Happiness Report. Even Pakistan has been ranked higher than India in the Happiness index. “It is a matter of shame for the government of the day,” he said.
Taking a jibe on the ruling BJP’s ‘achhe din’ slogan, Tripathi said India’s ranking was lower because of the “atmosphere of fear” created in the country and all those who differ being described as “anti-nationals”. He also said that senior BJP leaders had advocated the closure of JNU.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien remarked that “happiness is relative”. India ranked a lowly 122 on a list of the world’s happiest countries, dropping four slots from last year and coming behind China, Pakistan and Nepal. The World Happiness Report is a measure of happiness published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.