Amidst emotionally charged statements from the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, his colleague HRD Minister Smriti Irani and the junior home minister Kiren Rijiju, the Delhi police on Friday acted swiftly to arrest the leader of the JNU Students’ Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar.
One of the charges slapped against him is of sedition, effectively implying that he indulged in anti-national activities. A very serious charge indeed, only if it is true.
There have been enough media reports, at time dominated by frenzy with sense of orchestrated nationalism overpowering objective journalism.
But, it’s still not clear what anti national activity the students with left leaning ideology of the JNU indulged in for them to be portrayed as villains, criminals and, at times, terrorists by the TRP-chasing Indian TV channels.
Let’s not forget fate of the Dalit Vemula and the circumstances leading to his suicide. Dare I say that there’s a dangerous similarity to what happened on the campus of University of Hyderabad and what’s currently happened here in Delhi.
In Vemula’s case, BJP MP Bandaru Dattatreya had written to Irani asking her to take action against ‘anti-national’ elements.
In JNU, another BJP MP Mahesh Giri wrote to the central government asking them to deal with the anti-national elements on the campus.
The ABVP was in the lead role in Hyderabad, it is playing a dominating role in JNU too.
So what constitutes an anti-national activity. Common sense would say that any action or collusion deemed to hurt the the interests of your country can be deemed as anti-national actions.
But did Kanhaiya commit any of such actions? A video of Kanhaiya’s speech he made recently has gone viral. In the video, Kanhaiya is seen attacking the ideologies of the RSS, actions of the ABVP and failed promises of the Union HRD Minister.
It appears that his hard-hitting statements against the Sangh and mocking of Irani, who he addresses as Manusmriti, are what’s being considered anti-national acts. Hence the decision to arrest him on sedition charge.
Here are the excerpts of Kanhaiya’s speech. Do read and watch his speech and take a considered view if indeed what he said ought to have amounted to sedition.
“We trust Baba Sahib (Ambedkar), We have complete faith in our country’s constitution. We would like to say with conviction that anyone who points fingers at this country’s constitution, even if that attacks happen from Sanghis (RSS sympethisers), we will not tolerate that. But we don’t trust the constitution which is taught in Jhandewalan and Nagpur. We don’t trust the caste-based politics of this country….
It’s the same Baba Sahib Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar talks about abolishing capital punishment. We want to uphold the values of that constitution and this is our fundamental right. But, it’s a matter of utter shame and misfortune that today the ABVP (studient wing of the RSS) with the help of their friends in the media are orchestrating the entire issue. They are diluting the entire issue.
Yesterday, the joint secretary of the ABVP said that they were fighting the fellowship. How ridiculous does it sound when they talk about the support for fellowship. Their government, particularly madam Manu Smriti Irani abolishes the fellowship and they pretend to fight for fellowship.
Their government has reduced the budget for higher education by 17 percent and because of this we’ve had problem in hostel accommodation. We haven’t had the promised WiFi in our hostels and on campus… Friends they will be exposed if they allow us to question their hypocrisy. But, we will not sit quiet, we will continue to expose them..”
Meanwhile, eight students debarred from academic activities in JNU for their alleged role in the so-called anti-national activities.