Other States

“Bid to create an atmosphere of terror”

Students shouting slogans in Guwahati on Thursday in solidarity with the agitating JNU students.- Photo: PTI  

Artistes, teachers, students and farmers on Thursday took out a protest march in the State capital to condemn the arrest of JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and denounced the Centre’s handling of the situation.

People taking part in the protest, organised by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and joined by students’ bodies, said the police action in JNU and repeated violence inside a court complex in Delhi were part of a “planned design” by RSS-BJP to create an “atmosphere of terror”.

“Today the RSS-BJP are dictating us on everything — what to wear, what to eat, what to see and what to say. It is a fascist attitude...Kanhaiya is a symbol of protest and right to freedom of speech,” KMSS president Akhil Gogoi said.

“Different tribal communities, including Bodos with whom BJP has formed an alliance for the Assam Assembly polls, were seeking either separate states or independence, but will the Modi government dare to label them anti-nationals,” he asked. “This protest march is not to support Pakistan or anti-nationals, but to oppose the new definition of nationalism by RSS and BJP,” he said.

Addressing the protesters, former principal of Cotton College, Sitanath Lahkar, said the actions were “part of a well-planned design” to silence the dissenting voice of the student community as youths can become the strongest force to overthrow the Modi government.

“After yesterday’s attack on Kanhaiya inside the court, the Supreme Court even said it is a situation of terror and that is the intention of RSS-BJP so that nobody raises any voice. “It was the same design of Hitler and he too did everything in the name of nationalism,” he said.

Mr. Lahkar, also a film-maker and a leading theatre personality, said the only way to counter the divisive forces in the country was a united students’ movement that was started after the suicide of Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad University.

Lyricist-singer Loknath Goswami registered his protest with a song. “These days I am very happy. I am happy because the Modi government itself has given the chance to democratic forces of the country to unite and fight against his fascist rule,” he said.

Students’ Federation of India Assam unit secretary Nirangkush Nath said the JNU incident was not an isolated case as the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Hyderabad University and many other educational institutes too have faced such situations in recent times.“Nobody supports separatists and Kanhaiya also did not support them, but he was arrested. It was a pretext to attack the Left and democratic forces and to crush the dissenting voice,” he said.

Gauhati University Students’ Union president Manab Jyoti Kalita said students in Assam would continue to raise their voices if there was any attack on students.

Cotton College Students’ Union general secretary Amlanjyoti Dewry said: “We will show them that with the strength of common people, we will defeat their strength of muscle power.”

Teachers and students belonging to Tata Institute of Social Sciences-Guwahati, Cotton College State University, Assam University, Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development, Arya Vidyapeeth College, Handique Girls’ College also joined the march.

The protest, in which KMSS peasant members also took part, started from Dighalipukhuri and was stopped in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner of the Kamrup Metropolitan district.

“We will not give any memorandum to the Prime Minister or anyone, because the Prime Minister is the leader of this ‘gunda’ force,” Mr. Gogoi added.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 7:58:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bid-to-create-an-atmosphere-of-terror/article8254965.ece

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