'We want freedom in India, not freedom from India'

JNUSU leader Kanhaiya Kumar, after having been secretly released from Tihar, addressed a huge gathering of students on Thursday night.

March 03, 2016 11:28 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 04:59 am IST

Kanhaiya Kumar addresses students on the JNU campus soon after his release from the Tihar Jail on Thursday night.

Kanhaiya Kumar addresses students on the JNU campus soon after his release from the Tihar Jail on Thursday night.

Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar declared on Thursday night that what students wanted was “freedom in India, not freedom from India.”

Addressing a huge gathering of students on the campus, soon after release from Tihar Jail, Mr. Kumar said: “It is not azadi from India, it is azadi in India [we want]... from the corrupt practices that are going on inside the country.” Mr. Kumar made his fiery speech at the same place where he had addressed students just a day before his arrest.

"Attack on JNU planned"

In his “home-coming” speech, Mr. Kumar took on the BJP government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the university and its students were targeted because they took on the government through Occupy UGC movement and demanded justice for Hyderabad University student Rohith Vemula.

“The attack on JNU is a planned one as they want to de-legitimise the UGC protest, and to dilute the fight for justice for Rohith Vemula,” he said, amid loud cheers.

He started his one-hour long address by thanking everyone who supported him and the university during the crisis, before targeting the government.

“I come from a village, where there are magic shows. People show magic and sell rings that fulfil all wishes...We have some people like that in our country, who say black money will come back, sabka saath sabka vikas (development for all),” he said.

"Government does not take kindly to criticism"

Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar said on Thursday that the BJP government did not take kindly to any criticism of its functioning or ideology.

Addressing a huge gathering of students on the campus, soon after his release from Tihar Jail on interim bail, Mr. Kumar said: “We Indians forget easily but the drama this time was so big that we still remember all the ‘Jumla’ used during election campaign. If you speak against the government, their cyber cell will send your doctored videos and count the number of condoms in your hostel; 69 per cent people of this country voted against their ideology. Only 31 per cent are those who were fooled by their ‘ Jumlebaazi ’.”

" Azadi from brahminism, azadi from casteism"

Further explaining the term “ azadi ” that is often used by JNU students during their speeches, Mr. Kumar said: “I want to tell the entire nation, today, what is the azadi that we ask for. We want azadi from capitalism, from brahminism, from casteism, this is the kind of azadi that we want.”

He also spoke to the students about his time in jail. “When I spent time in jail, I realised that the constable who was taking me for medical tests, for food, they are also people like me. They are also a part of the corrupt system. When I tried to explain to them my views, they understood what is the kind of azadi that we have been demanding.” Mr. Kumar came to the JNU campus after meeting some leaders at the CPI office. He will also address a press conference along with the senior party leaders on Friday.

Also read: >What is the JNU row all about?

Some snippets from his speech:

"We want freedom not from India but from those who loot India."

"We will pursue this fight that was begun by Rohith Vemula and all of you and we will see it till it's end!"

"The PM had tweeted 'Satyameva Jayate'. I am also saying the same thing."

"The ABVP is not our enemy. They are our opposition."

"You speak against the government and they send doctored videos."

"This is a long fight. We will fight it without bowing!"

"The attack on JNU was planned to distract us from the UGC protest and dilute the fight for justice for Rohith Vemula."

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