Afzal Guru is not my icon, Rohith Vemula is: Kanhaiya Kumar

“The constitution is not a video that can be doctored"

GN Bureau | March 4, 2016


#Jnu row   #Kanhaiya Kumar   #Jawaharlal Nehru University   #Sedition charges  


 A day after Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar was released from jail and delivered an electrifying speech in the university premises the student leader said that efforts were being made to malign the image of the university. 

 
Addressing the media on Friday, Kumar said that students and staff of JNU are not ‘anti-nationals’. “He [Afzal Guru] is not my icon, Rohith Vemula is. I am against “patent-bazi” of nationalism. Nationalism is not someone’s patent”, he says. “We will stand for people like Rohith Vemula and the families of martyred soldiers, farmers and students. It is not victory but unity. I don’t look at things as black and white, and we accept Kashmir as part of India” he said.
 
“We promote equality, brotherhood and socialism. JNUSU will always respond in a constitutional manner”, he said.
 
Kumar said that the media has completely distorted the image of JNU. He says, “JNU students have been harassed in trains and mob-lynched. We are in fact the real voice of India. India is its people. We want freedom in India, not freedom from India.”

Even though I stayed in jail for 22 days and it was a difficult period, there is always hope for betterment in society. The difficult period of blackness is over and now there will be a fresh start. “Whatever happened, I have full faith in the constitution and judiciary”.

He assured the people that the subsidies through which students of JNU study will not be wasted; the money is in good hands and is being fully utilized. “Students from all 145 countries in the world come and study in JNU. It promotes science, art, literature, social reforms, and expansion of democracy.  JNU is a university, so ask questions. Don’t use sedition on students.” “I come from a poor family that earns Rs. 3000 a month, let me do my PhD”, he added.
 
Kumar clarified that he is a student and not a politician. “People have not voted for me, I am not the prime minister of the country. I am an ordinary person who was selected as the president for a university’s student union. I have been chosen as the representative of students. Don’t ask me whether I will join politics, I will become a teacher”. Targeting politicians he said “If there’s freedom of speech, there is freedom to question. I am not a politician, so I will not run away from your questions”. He also stated that he has complete faith in judiciary and the court’s direction is his dream. “The constitution is not a video that can be doctored,” he said. 

Kumar also alleged that government is making a mockery of the sedition law and misusing this term.  “This is a party’s government. Our accountability is not on the office but on the people and the constitution. The constitution allows disagreement and we have never done/supported anything that goes against it”. Addressing soldiers, farmers and students as one he says, “There sacrifice is equally important and we [students of JNU], will fight for their rights”.
 
 
 

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