Updated May 3rd, 2024 at 19:41 IST

'My Birth Is My Fatal Accident': Here's What Rohith Vemula Said In His Last Letter

Telangana police has filed a closure report in the case of the death of Rohith Vemula who died by suicide in January 2016.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Rohith Vemula ‘was not a Dalit’, police tell HC in closure report | Image:Twitter
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New Delhi: Eight years after the controversial death of University of Hyderabad (UoH) PhD scholar Rohith Vemula who died by suicide in January 2016, the Telangana police has filed a closure report in the case. The closure report submitted by the police absolved the then Secunderabad MP Bandaru Dattatreya, Member of Legislative Council N Ramachander Rao, and Vice Chancellor Appa Rao, ABVP leaders and Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani.

According to the final finding by the police, Rohith died by suicide in fear of his real caste identity being revealed as he did not belong to the Scheduled Caste (SC) category. Claiming that the caste certificates of the Vemula's family were forged, the findings said the case has been closed on account of lack of evidence.

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Here's what Rohith Vemula said in his last letter:

Good morning,

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I would not be around when you read this letter.

Don't get angry on me. I know some of you truly cared for me, loved me and treated me very well. I have no complaints on anyone. It was always with myself I had problems. I feel a growing gap between my soul and my body. And I have become a monster. I always wanted to be a writer. A writer of science, like Carl Sagan. At last, this is the only letter I am getting to write.
I loved science, stars, nature, but then I loved people without knowing that people have long since divorced from nature. Our feelings are second handed. Our love is constructed. Our beliefs coloured. Our originality valid through artificial art. It has become truly difficult to love without getting hurt.

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The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote. To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of stardust. In very field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living.

I am writing this kind of letter for the first time. My first time of a final letter. Forgive me if I fail to make sense.
May be I was wrong, all the while, in understanding world. In understanding love, pain, life, death. There was no urgency. But I always was rushing. Desperate to start a life. All the while, some people, for them, life itself is curse. My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past.

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I am not hurt at this moment. I am not sad. I am just empty. Unconcerned about myself. That's pathetic. And that's why I am doing this.

People may dub me as a coward. And selfish, or stupid once I am gone. I am not bothered about what I am called. I don't believe in after-death stories, ghosts, or spirits. If there is anything at all I believe, I believe that I can travel to the stars. And know about the other worlds.

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If you, who is reading this letter can do anything for me, I have to get seven months of my fellowship, one lakh and seventy five thousand rupees. Please see to it that my family is paid that. I have to give some 40 thousand to Ramji. He never asked them back. But please pay that to him from that.
Let my funeral be silent and smooth. Behave like I just appeared and gone. Do not shed tears for me. Know that I am happy dead than being alive.

"From shadows to the stars."

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Uma anna, sorry for using your room for this thing.

To ASA family, sorry for disappointing all of you. You loved me very much. I wish all the very best for the future.
For one last time,

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Jai Bheem

I forgot to write the formalities. No one is responsible for my this act of killing myself.

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No one has instigated me, whether by their acts or by their words to this act.

This is my decision and I am the only one responsible for this.

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Do not trouble my friends and enemies on this after I am gone.


Rohith Vemula hanged himself in a hostel room on January 17, 2016 as he was allegedly upset over disciplinary action taken against him by the University of Hyderabad. His death had kicked up a controversy over the action against him that was alleged to have been prompted by complaints by BJP leaders. Vemula’s suicide also triggered a huge political furore with the then HRD Minister Smriti Irani coming under attack along with Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya for having written a letter related to the matter. 

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Published May 3rd, 2024 at 19:40 IST