New Delhi: The family of Dalith research scholar Rohith Vemula, who had committed suicide at Hyderbad Central University in January, would be converting to Buddhism in Mumbai today.
According to Babasaheb Ambedkar's grandson Prakash Ambedkar, Rohith's mother and brother will be given ‘deeksha’ by Buddhist monks on the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar, the Dalit icon and the principal architect of the Indian Constitution.
"We have organised the deeksha ceremony at Ambedkar Bhavan in Dadar as the family approached us," he said.
When contacted, Rohith's younger brother Raja Vemula said that his mother feels they should convert to Buddhism as it does not have an oppressive caste system like Hinduism.
"It is true that we are going to embrace Buddhism. We are on the way to Mumbai," he said.
Raja further said that Rohith Vemula was a Buddhist at heart though he did not convert formally. “My brother Rohith took his own life because he was discriminated against as he was a Dalit. We performed his last rites according to Buddhist traditions, honouring his love for Buddhism. Rohith used to talk of Buddhism a lot. He had also written a letter to the VC about how Dalits are discriminated against in the campus,” he said.
Rohith, 27, had killed himself in his hostel room on January 17 after alleging discrimination on caste lines by the university administration.