Massive People’s March to Parliament
Drop Sedition Charge Against JNU Students
New Delhi: AISF, along with other student organisations, took out an impressive March to Parliament on March 15, 2016 demanding an end to the misuse of the sedition laws and an end to such laws. They demanded unconditional release of Kanhaiya Kumar, the AISF leader and president of JNUSU along with others and withdrawal of cases against them.
It was an impressive march, in which students from different universities of the country also took part, mainly from the neighbouring states. The presence of Kanhaiya Kumar enthused and galvanised the students. They shouted slogans on ‘azadi’ from various social and educational problems. Students of JNU led by AISF and other student organizations were in large numbers.
Thousands of students began their march from the Mandi House and reached Jantar Mantar. At Jantar Mantar, the procession turned into a big meeting.
Several student leaders addressed the rally including those of AISF. Besides, writer Arundhati Roy also delivered a speech.
AISF general secretary Vishwajeet Kumar said that AISF has always stood for the autonomy and democratisation of the universities and would continue to do so. The AISF will fight out any oppression in the educational institutions, he added.
Kanhaiya Kumar, addressing the rally, said that the struggle was not only regarding him and a few other students who have been charged for sedition. The struggle was much broader. “We are trying to save democracy and freedom of expression.” He said that some people are trying to teach us ‘nationalism’ but they are creating communal disruption in the whole country. These people themselves never took part in the freedom movement.
Kanhaiya also criticised human resource minister Smriti Irani. He said she also is a mother and we all are her sons and daughters. So, why did she not meet the mother of Rohit Vemula or my mother? Smriti Irani thinks that by declaring me as an ‘anti-national’, my mother becomes anti-national. ABVP declares Rohit as ‘anti-national’, so for them, his mother is also anti-national.
Kanhaiya and other AISF leaders challenged the outdated colonial rules and laws of sedition, which were framed to falsely implicate the revolutionaries and freedom fighters in the socalled ‘anti-state’ activities to ‘overthrow’ the British rule and to declare them as the enemy of the state. The ‘Rajdroh’ of British times has today become ‘Deshdroh’!
The meeting was also addressed by national council secretary D Raja MP and general secretary of CPI(M) Sitaram Yechury.
Raja said the CPI was fighting to get Kanhaiya and others justice. He has done no wrong and was not involved in any slogan shouting and anti-national activities. He and others did not get opportunity to put up their own version before the enquiry committee of JNU.
In the meantime, there were some attempts to physically attack and abuse Kanhaiya, but these attempts were foiled promptly by the students and the police together.