Recently suicided post-graduate student Dr. Payal Tadvi is a new victim of Savarna Hindutva. The 26-year-old junior doctor found dead hanging in her hostel room at BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai on May 22. The thing that led her to the latter ending of her life was the continuing torture, torment, and harassment from three Savarna Hindu seniors. All three seniors hated to share the hostel room with a Muslim lady coming from the Adivasi background. They ragged her when they felt discomfort and indignity in staying with her. It is so sad that those who study all part of human body forgot to study a good soul.
Mrs. Vidya Bhushan Rawat calls it a murder, a crime which was not merely of racial hatred but also looked like Islamophobia as she belonged to a tribal community practising the Islamic faith. Payal belonged to the Bhil community which has about 2.7% of people practising Islam around Maharashtra. The total number of Bhils and Gonds in India is nearly 2.8 crore, which is 27% of the total Adivasi population in India. Among the Muslim Tribal communities, 1.32 lakhs live in Jammu and Kashmir and 1.12 lakh hail from Maharashtra where Bhils are the biggest tribal community, where Islam is one of the practising faiths. Dr. Payal was killed by the three seniors becoming a victim of hate crime where her tribal identity practicing Islamic faith might have further aggravated her troubles.
Insulting Dalits and Adivasis, humiliating them, compelling them to commit suicide, and attacking them had become a habit of Savarna Hindus. Dr. Payal died of this habit. The atmosphere in these so-called institutions of merit should change because they are so suffocating with Brahmanical arrogance that it kills the students from the Dalit Bahujan Communities. The government should address this issue and deal as prior agenda to win ‘sabka Vishwas’, the trust of all. The three Savarna doctors must be prosecuted with stringent laws so that this becomes an example but we know very well that the government and its officers have never been sincere in following the constitution and implementing the rule of law. Otherwise, Dr. Payal would not have died.
Where are the institutional mechanisms to protect SC/ST students? Her death is an institutional killing like that of Rohit Vemula and the BYL Nair Hospital, Mumbai cannot give up its accountability in this regard. Why are institutional mechanisms not strong to deal with the discrimination which is rampant in our educational institutions? Why was there no 'committee' which could have acted against these three girls? If there is a committee then what did it do? Who are the members of the committee? Are there SC/ST members in these committees? Can we trust those committees where no member belongs to these communities?