“My son is not anti-national. He is being victimised for his opposition to Hindutva politics. He has not done anything wrong; so where is the question of apology,” asked Jaishankar Singh, father of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar who was arrested on sedition charge on Friday.
His mother, Meena Devi, said her son was politically inclined since his schooldays, “but has never ever said anything against the national interest.”
Sitting on a charpoy in a room with the faded blue wall plaster peeling off at several places and a polythene bag full of medicines hung on a keel, Mr. Singh has been watching TV news since Friday morning. The couple lives in the ramshackle house at Maslanpur-Bihat, a village in Begusarai district of Bihar. A small-time farmer, Mr. Singh suffered a paralytic attack two years ago. Since then, he has been bed-ridden. Ms. Devi works as an anganwadi worker providing basic heath care in villages, earning Rs. 4,000 a month.
Mr. Singh said Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja called him up on Saturday and briefed him of a meeting party leaders had with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. “ Mera beta nirdosh hain … usne aisa kuch kiya hi nahi hai … usne galati ki hi nahi to maafi kis baat ki [My son is innocent…when he has not done anything, why he should tender an apology],” he asked in a chat with The Hindu on the phone.
He said his son was not seen in the video footage of students chanting anti-national slogans.
“My son is a nationalist like hundreds of thousands of youths, but he follows the Left ideology. He is being victimised for opposing Hindutva politics,” Ms. Devi said.