"From Shadows to the Stars"

Much is being written, said and debated.
About Rohith Vemula.
Of course, but for how long.
26 days? He was 26.

Born in Guntur, dead in Hyderabad.
His birth his fatal accident.
His ambition to become a writer.
His work - his first final note.

His mother sewed clothes
Father guarded a hospital.
He wrote, he fought, he was expelled.
From the University and the world.

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An original voice was extinguished. It is pathetic. Is this what a death of a writer feels like? Perhaps. Whose poignant note remains his best work. It makes one think, reflect and retch at what we have become. A newspaper carried it in the Op-Ed section with a smiling picture of him. I read it once. And once more. I couldn't read it again. But I did. You must read it too. Several times.

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I have always defended reservations. In colleges, in universities and in jobs. Urban readers, if from the upper castes, upper class, ignorant of the problems and issues faced by the Dalits, will criticise my stand. They don't think caste barriers exist.

In Bombay, it is easy to be ignorant. We don't have the time. We don't think that there exists a barrier, a bias, a prejudice, a dogma, a hatred. But it does. In our minds and in our matrimonial meetings and dealings, it does. It permeates deep within, in dark corners unknown to the best of us. Reflect.

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