Kanhaiya Kumar avoids mention of Umar, Anirban

Updated - November 17, 2021 05:07 am IST

Published - March 16, 2016 02:46 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Jawaharlal Nehru University Student’s Union president Kanhaiya Kumar on Tuesday led a march demanding the release of JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who are in judicial custody on sedition charges. However, Mr. Kumar avoided talking about them in his 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. while addressing a gathering at Parliament Street.

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 address said this march was not about Umar and Anirban but to save democracy and then went on to target the RSS and Mr. 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 Arundhati 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 at the march.

Four held for trying to attack Kanhaiya

The Delhi police took four persons into preventive detention for allegedly trying to attack Mr. Kumar during the march. He was leading a rally from Mandi House to Parliament House.

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