New Delhi: Thousands of students from JNU and other universities participated in a protest march led by JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar who is out on bail in a sedition case on Tuesday . Students marched from Mandi house to Parliament demanding release of two varsity students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya and resignation of Union Minister Smriti Irani for alleged attack on academic institutions.
The third in the series of “People’s march to save democracy” was be in solidarity with Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya who are facing sedition charges in connection with an event against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.
“This march is not to save one Umar or Kanhaiya, it is for democracy and social justice. When dictatorship comes to a country, education institutions are affected first. If you talk in favour of JNU and education, you are talking about making sense.
“If universities are being attacked, I want to tell you all that trust your children. There are some people who want to spread anarchy. But don’t be afraid of them. You have to tell them that you cannot do all this. We will not tolerate any attack like this,” Kanhaiya said.
The students leader who was granted bail on March 3 by a Delhi High Court, said, “we are not anti-national. We are anti RSS. We do not agree to your nationalism. Women should get out of their homes. We cannot do politics on Army. People who work on footpath are the biggest risk takers”.
He alleged that the Prime Minister calls himself a tea-seller’s son but what is he doing for the poor? “People who take years in getting from half pant to full pant can only divide the country like this. Everyone is a part of India. Be it minorities, dalits.
“Everybody is attacking JNU saying it runs on tax-payers money but about Vijay Mallya who also used tax-payer’s money and eloped to London. What did they (govt) do about it,” he said. Left party leaders D Raja and Sitaram Yechury were also present at the march and expressed solidarity with the agitating students.
Author-activist Arundhati Roy also addressed the gathering saying, “we are looking at revolutionary politics. We are at the beginning of a battle between those who know how to play and those who don’t. People who are called antinational are nature lovers. People who call themselves national are the ones ruining things”. Meanwhile, during his speech four persons tried to attack Kanhaiya at frequent intervals following which they were detained.