RIP Rohith Vemula

Rohith Vemula speaking

There was a candlelight vigil today in Hyderabad to honor Rohith Vemula, a graduate student who hung himself after being persecuted & thrown out of school by university officials for being a Dalit (formerly known as untouchable) activist.

He was an embodiment of what Gramsci called the “organic intellectual,” a person from the oppressed with a unique ability to educate & inspire others because he did not place himself above his caste nor seek to rise above others but only to rise with the oppressed. His tragic death continues to broaden & strengthen the movement against caste oppression. May he RIP. May his fighting spirit inspire the struggle against oppression & inequality everywhere.

(Photo is Rohith Vemula speaking)