Mumbai (Vinod Jagdale for News24): Mother and brother of Dalit student Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide at Hyderabad Central University in January, embraced Buddhism on the occasion of Dr BR Ambedkar's 125th birth anniversary on Thursday. During a function in Dadar here, Rohith's mother Radhika and brother Naga Chaitanya Vemula, also known as Raja Vemula, were given 'deeksha' in the presence of Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar.
The mother-son duo also paid tributes to Dr Ambedkar and bowed before his portrait during the deeksha ceremony.
"We have converted to Buddhism as we are against the caste system in Hinduism. It's a day to celebrate freedom from the caste system," said Rohith's kin. Notably, Ambedkar, architect of the Indian Constitution, converted to Buddhism at a grand ceremony in Nagpur in 1956 as he was strongly opposed to the caste system in Hinduism.
(Vinod Jagdale can be reached at [email protected])