Rohith Vemula's Mother, Brother to Embrace Buddhism on Ambedkar Jayanti
Mumbai: The family of Dalith research scholar Rohith Vemula, whose suicide at Hyderbad Central University in January created a firestorm of protest, would be converting to Buddhism, Babasaheb Ambedkar's grandson Prakash Ambedkar said on Wednesday.
April 14 is the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar, the Dalit icon and the principal architect of the Indian Constitution.
Rohith's mother and brother will be given "deeksha" by Buddhist monks, Prakash Ambedkar, a former MP, said. The ceremony will be held at noon at Ambedkar Bhavan in Dadar here, he said.
"We have organised the deeksha ceremony as the family approached us," he added.
When contacted, Rohith's younger brother Raja Vemula said "it is true that we are going to embrace Buddhism. We are on the way to Mumbai."
Hindustan Times quoted Raja as saying Rohith was a Buddhist at heart and that his last rites were conducted as per that tradition.
“I have no ill feeling toward Hindus but my conscience doesn’t allow me to continue in this religion. It is because of the caste system that my brother was harassed, humiliated and forced to take his own life,” HT's news website quoted Raja as saying.
Rohith’s suicide in January had led to a wave of protests in campuses across the country and renewed debate on treatment of Dalit sudents in educational institutions.
(With other inputs)