“Dear Prince, I have seen you grow from a kid silenced in his caste to a vocal person with strong opinions, asking important questions, no matter how hard they tried to suppress your voice,” writes Aroh Akunth, a senior fellow of Prince.
Prince Kumar, 20, a student of Ambedkar University committed suicide on 19th May. His body found in his Ghaziabad residence. His body was taken to Yashoda Hospital where he was declared dead. Hailing from Bahujan community, the prince was one brilliant student in academics. He was a poet and an activist.
This is not the first time when a Bahujan student has committed suicide in prominent institutions of India. Last year, Muthukrishnan Jeevanantham, 27, and a before Rohit Vemula of Hyderabad university committed suicide which took the entire nation to storm.
Riya Singh, an alumnus of the Ambedkar University writes, “There’s caste, poverty, burden and a savarn academia. There’s lack of support, affection & friendship.” In all of this, we end up losing so many young & vibrant people who dreamt of a better world for themselves. Struggled and succumbed.
Countering to rumors on the caste identity of Prince, his one friend in conversation to National India News said, “He was Jatav and false information are purposefully spread to hide caste oppression in campuses.
Prince Kumar worked with Dalit Bahujan Aadivasi collective. “He was a friend of mine and he always discussed the problem of caste in the classroom with me. Caste was one of the main topics that he always talked about”.
Asking for anonymity, his friend also claimed that many times discrimination has been reported in the meetings of DBAC.
In a condolence letter, Aroh recalls his memories and writes “You will always survive in my memory as a fiercely loyal person who stood with half a dozen of us when we were fighting the administration not caring about the consequences, it would have for you, during those long months where nothing seemed to be going in our favour, as a person who was ever ready to volunteer and help ODORI and QC with lighting in productions, as a junior who used to sit me down to narrate his poems, and even the times when I rebuked you for being late, for not taking enough care of yourself, that’s how our last conversation ended, guess you’ll never be late for a meeting now, never hold an event, never collectivise again but you will always be there with us Prince.”
The investigation is going on but the reason behind the suicide is yet not clear. However, Times of India quoting a local councilor writes that after being reprimanded by his father over purchasing of bananas from the market.
Calling it a false report, a friend of Prince decimated Times of India column. He further said, “I have known prince for the last two years and I know he cannot commit suicide for a petty reason like having a fight with his father over bananas.” His father said, “He had been remaining upset from the last 15 days”.
However, discrimination on caste line within universities has been several times discussed at national forums, but unfortunately, not a single step has been taken to make universities a caste friendly space. What took Rohit to take his life? Why Muthukrishnan of JNU forced to leave the world and now young, bright Prince committed suicide.
Dr Manisha Bangar also says that “Along with regionalism, casteism is also a big issue in …