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.
Tomorrow 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.
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.”
“I have no ill feeling toward Hindus but my conscience doesn’t allow me to continue in this religion. It is because of the Hindu caste system that my brother was harassed, humiliated and forced to take his own life,” Rohit’s brother Raja told Hindustan Time on Wednesday.
“Millions of Dalits have suffered, just like my brother did, for thousands of years because of the Hindu caste system.”
They will follow in the footsteps of Ambedkar, who led millions of his followers into Buddhism in 1951, months before his death.
“I was born a Hindu but will not die one,” Ambedkar famously said, as he exhorted Dalit communities to choose Buddhism because of what he called its inclusive nature and lack of discriminatory structures.