BJP leader, Varun Gandhi on February 21 came out to say that the suicide note written by Rohith Vemula, the research scholar who hanged himself made him cry. While delivering a speech on the “Ideas for a new India”, organised by a private school in Indore, Varun told the audience that Rohith wrote in his letter that he was taking his life because he was born as a Dalit.

“Rohit Vemula, a dalit Ph.D student from Hyderabad committed suicide last year. When I read his letter, I broke into tears. Rohit wrote that he was taking the extreme step because he had committed the sin of taking birth in such form. This line pained my heart immensely,” Varun said.

While speaking about the other Dailt issues, Varun asserted that a number of students skipped their meals in school only because the food was cooked by women from the weaker section of the society. “Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar had said we don’t need political democracy but social democracy. His thought was way ahead of his time,” Varun said.

Recently, the Andhra Pradesh government announced that Rohith Vemula, the research scholar who committed suicide triggering nationwide uproar over ill-treatment of Dalits, was not a Dalit and that he belonged to Other Backward Class (OBC). The government also served a show cause notice on Radhika (Rohith’s mother) as to why she cannot be declared as belonging to the Vaddera community, which falls under the OBC category.

Rohith Vemula, a 26-year-old PhD student at University of Hyderabad, committed suicide on January 17, 2016 after he allegedly assaulted ABVP activist N Susheel Kumar who raised concern over demonstrations against the death penalty for Yakub Memon which was organised for Rohith Vemula and four other ASA-activists. ABVP had submitted a report to the then Union Human Resource Minister Smriti Irani that the five students were involved in “anti-national” activities. Following which, Rohith Vemula along with the four other ASA-activists were suspended and barred from entering their hostels. Following the suspension, Rohith Vemula committed suicide.