Opposition rejects PM's remarks over Dalit scholar suicide

Opposition rejects PM's remarks over Dalit scholar suicide

Opposition today rejected Prime Minister Narendra Modi's emotional remarks over the suicide of a Dalit scholar in Hyderabad University, saying "action" is required and "not a jumla" and pressed for the resignation of Union ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya.

"If words were solace, a man would not have lost his life. If words would replace action, then this country could be fed only through words. It is not a jumla but action that is required. You should tell the Dalits, the community involved and the parents what action you are taking," Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakan said.

He was reacting after the Prime Minister broke his silence, voicing his grief over the suicide of Rohith Vemula of Hyderabad University, an incident which has evoked widespread outrage.

"... When there is news that a youth of my country, Rohith, was forced to commit suicide, what his family must have gone through. Mother India has lost a son. There will be reasons, there will be politics (surrounding it) but the fact remains that a mother has lost her son.

"I feel the pain very well," Modi said while speaking as the chief guest at a convocation ceremony of B R Ambedkar University in Lucknow.

Alleging that HRD Minister Irani and Labour Minister Dattatreya did not act responsibly in the matter, Vadakan said, "PM must tell his HRD Minister that these things won't do. He must replace her. He is the Prime Minister of the country. He has to act. He has to tell her HRD Minister that where the buck stops."

Claiming that this was not happening for the first time, the Congress leader said that the Prime Minister must tell his other ministers these kinds of action are not permissible.
CPI-M leader Md Saleem targetted the Prime Minister questioning why he took so much time to respond.

"It took so many days and so many protests nationwide to make the Prime Minister feel the pain of the family. It is the height of irresponsibleness," he said.

He said that Prime Minister should tell his HRD Minister that it was not her business or that of her department to interfere in Hyderabad University about action against the Dalit students and wondered whether she was "pressured" by Union minister and local MP Dattatreya.

"Just an expression of sorrow after so many days is not going to work," Saleem said alleging that "dogmatic and fanatic" forces have got emboldened as government has "not acted fast" against them  so far.

Trinamool Congress MP Sugatha Roy said neither Hyderabad University administration nor Irani and Dattatreya can be absolved from the responsibility for the suicide.
"The whole thing happened after the minister (Dattatreya) wrote to the HRD Minister and the HRD Minister in turn wrote to the University five times pressuring it to take action against Rohith.

"If the government has woken up now it is good but the Prime Minister should take some action against these persons, who are directly or indirectly responsible for the suicide," he said.

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