ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Rohith Vemula and Sushant Singh Rajput

​Aristocrats of the Soul

Sushant Singh Rajput and Rohith Vemula had more in common, in life as in death, than just their love for the cosmos.

There has to be something about the Indian film industry that makes talented and intelligent minds take their lives. It could be the work culture. Or the competition. Or maybe, a realisation asserting the meaninglessness of our being in the face of the pain it ­entails. The passing away of the gifted actor Sushant Singh Rajput last year echoes of another unfortunate loss of talent: the suicide of Rohith Vemula, a thinking rese­arch scholar at the University of Hyderabad.

Rajput and Vemula’s journey must not be reduced to their suicides. Their commonality begins with a hope of redemption in the cosmos—sensitive minds staying alive in the hope of the larger picture. In his suicide note, Vemula stated his unfulfilled desire to become a science writer, like astronomer and cosmologist Carl Sagan. Rajput’s admiration for Sagan too is a given; he wanted to be an astrophysicist. The yearning for the cosmos was, in both cases, the need for an escape, and a belief that escape was possible. Perhaps, an early sign of what was to come. 

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Updated On : 20th Feb, 2021

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