A mother as cannon fodder against Smriti

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Rohit Vemula & Smriti Irani

M K Shukla:

Dalit or OBC student Rohith Vemula’s mother on Friday launched herself into politics. Instead of agonizing like a mother and demanding justice for the death of her son, she was swept by her pain and landed herself into a different orbit that is characterized more by politically-inspired stories of so-called Dalit or Harijan exploitation, repression and persecution.

What her political supporters could not dare do within the round walls of Indian parliament fearing breach of contempt, she did it by accusing HRD Minister Smriti Irani of resorting to “blatant lies” while talking in Parliament about her son’s suicide and that “life imprisonment” will not be enough for her and others “responsible” for his death. The anger of Radhika Vemula, flanked by her other son Raja, drove her to wish that BJP would be “decimated to the ground” if Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not take any action against Irani and her ministerial colleague Bandaru Dattatreya for provoking University of Hyderabad’s action against Rohith.

“Irani, this is not a small screen to act, this is real life. Bring out the facts, don’t fabricate them. How many parents you would like to suffer. Irani has lied multiple times while speaking on the issue in Parliament. Why has action not been taken against her,” she said at a  press conference on Friday.

Well, parents are parents, and they have all the right to say when they have lost a child in unfortunate situation.

However, going by records of Parliamentary speech of Irani, it’s clear from irrefutable official documents she cited that Rohith faced the same kind of situation that any student standing against the prevailing political climate would face at any university. The simple point is being a Dalit or OBC supremacist; he should have shown the courage to dig in his heels to stick to his point and fought on. Instead, like a leaf in the wind, he was swept by his own failures to overcome the situation that he has created for himself in the first place.

Irani has done her job. And she did it well: she shut up her opponents. If she had lied as the canard is being spread by them through a wailing mother and distraught brother, they should show the guts to bring a privilege motion against her. Will her opponents do it? No. Because they would be further shamed if they have not been shamed as yet. Anyway, a judicial inquiry is already on; and the truth won’t take long to come out.

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