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Carl Sagan’s Wife, Ann Druyan’s Touching Letter on Rohith Vemula

Rohith Vemula had expressed his desires to become a writer like Carl Sagan in his suicide note.

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Rohith Vemula, who was one of the five Dalit scholars expelled by the Hyderabad Central University last year, after a verbal clash between two student groups, committed suicide on 17 January 2016.

Before hanging himself in a hostel room, Rohith had expressed his desire to become a writer like the popular American astronomer and cosmologist, Carl Sagan in his suicide note.

When Rajeev Ramachandran, Co-ordinating Editor at MediaoneTV, wrote to Carl Sagan’s wife, Ann Druyan, telling her about Rohith’s suicide note, Druyan wrote back to him. Druyan, who is an author herself, shared concerns over the loss of brilliant potential in the face of fatal socio-political prejudices.

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Rohith Vemula had expressed his desires to become a writer like Carl Sagan in his suicide note.
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Rohit Vemula’s suicide note opened a gateway to a less visible history of marginalisation of the underprivileged in the Indian society. By any means Rohith Vemula is not the first dalit student to have committed suicide in HCU. Being unable to face discrimination, around eight dalit students had committed suicide within the campus in the last decade.

Ann Druyan’s letter raises an important question over whether such incidents are going to follow a cyclical ordeal or whether the attention they have garnered will lead to an impactful change.

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