No mention of Umar, Anirban at march meant for them

Arundhati Roy told students they were witnessing the start of revolutionary politics.Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma  

: Jawaharlal Nehru University Student’s Union president Kanhaiya Kumar on Tuesday led a march demanding the release of Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who are in judicial custody on sedition charges.

However, Mr. Kumar avoided talking about them in his 30-minute address.

He instead spoke about Union Minister Smriti Irani, demanding her resignation for alleged attack on academic institutions, and targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“She calls us her children, but has she ever spoken to my mother or Rohith Vemula’s mother? I refused to be called her child. We demand that she should resign for the way academic institutions are being attacked,” Mr. Kumar said.

The march was third in the series of “People's march to save democracy” in solidarity with Mr. Khalid and Mr. Bhattacharya.

However, students in the university felt that the main intention of the march was completely absent in Mr. Kumar's address.

“We are all here to demand the release of Umar and Anirban but the student leader, who is representing us, did not say anything about them. His address was full of political fervour,” Ajay, a literature student at JNU said.

Another student added: “We are all getting a feeling that Kanhaiya wants to just portray himself as a leader. Else why would he not speak about the two students, for whom, the march has been organised.”

Mr. Kumar, at the starting of his speech, said that this march is not about Umar and Anirban but to "save our democracy" and then went on to target RSS and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“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,” he said.

Author-activist Aru-ndhati Roy said, “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 anti-national are nature lovers. People who call themselves national are the ones ruining things.” Left leaders D. Raja and Sitaram Yechury were also present.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 1:46:20 PM |

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