RAJINI KRISH, original name MUTHUKRISHNAN was our friend, brother, partner and a fellow in our struggle has been killed by this Brahminical society and institution for the last time. He was constantly being killed since he joined JNU and in many other ways before he was killed for one last time. As we wait in front of the mortuary in AIIMS, we can’t help but cry out loud at our collective failure to save our brother. We know him as Rajini Krish and only as that, because he wanted everyone to know him as RAJINI KRISH. He was a great admirer of Pa. Ranjith and Rajinikanth for their movie KABALI. So much so that he could deliver many dialogues from the film with a perfect impersonation of Super Star Rajinikanth. Why did he commit suicide? Was he unhappy? Regarding what? How did we not know that he was unhappy?
But we did. Some of us knew that he was upset; although we do not think it is an unhappiness or sadness he was feeling but, discrimination imposed by this Brahminical institution and society. As, Vikas, who has been visiting Krish every day since last week reveals that Krish has been very upset regarding how he was being treated by people around him in his Centre and in the campus. In Vikas’s words, “he has been telling me since last three days that he felt very alienated in his department. He has recently spoken to Prof. Neeladri Bhattacharya about supervising him in writing his M.Phil. dissertation. However, he had already chosen a supervisor, Prof. Burton Cleetus, earlier and was supposed to start his work under his guidance. Later, he felt that Prof. Neeladri would be a more suitable person for his work and approached him with his proposal to get his approval. Although, Prof. Neeladri did not give a confirmation, Krish went and told Prof. Cleetus that he wants to work with Prof. Neeladri and has spoken to him about it. To which, Prof. Cleetus responded saying he is free to do work with him. However, Prof. Neeladri did not respond to his request for many days and Krish was feeling pressurized to choose a supervisor as soon as possible since, his classmates have already chosen theirs. At this point, Krish went back to Prof. Cleetus to ask him whether he could work with him and the Professor says, ‘I am done with you’. Krish told me in these exact words. He also told me that Ph.D. research scholars working with Prof. Cleetus were looking at him differently in his Centre. I was a fool to tell him that it was probably his insecurity talking. He must have felt humiliated for not being able to find a supervisor like others without any trouble. He told me that, he felt people in his Centre, in School and in Campus don’t treat him well as if he is not supposed to be here but, he is and that people felt uncomfortable in his presence.”
It is not difficult to see why Krish has felt isolation and depressed in a campus that is supposed to be helping people from underprivileged background to find a place in society. He is born and brought up in Salem district of Tamilnadu. Being economically backward and a Dalit, he fought against many odds to come and study in JNU. He has written JNU History department’s entrance exam five times and appeared for interview twice before finally getting admission here. Even though there are many Dalit students in JNU who are first generation educated, he couldn’t socialize with them. That is the case with many Dalit students in this Campus. He told many of us that he is unable to feel at home in this campus and that he could not find a single person with whom he can share his thoughts regarding personal life. The discrimination he felt in this campus cannot be associated with one individual, although, it cannot be denied either. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism to address this kind of discrimination in our educational institutions. This has been a major demand by Rohith’s friends, including Krish himself, that a Rohith Act be devised to address covert ways of discrimination in our campuses. But the State has failed to do so and JNU as an institution has failed Krish. It is a collective shame that this campus should accept for the collective discrimination that it inflicted upon Krish.
Krish came into this campus with many dreams. He told many of us that we want to speak and write like ‘these scholars’. His dreams now have been shattered by this Brahminical institution and society.
Bapsa – Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association