JNU Students\' Union President Kanhaiya Kumar made a fiery speech on the university campus taking on the Narendra Modi-led government, hours after his release from jail. Kanhaiya Kumar on Thursday night said that they never demanded freedom from India, “We demanded freedom within India,” he said while addressing a gathering of thousands of students on the campus after spending days in Tihar jail on sedition charges.
“We never demanded azadi (freedom) from India. We want azadi within India, from starvation, feudalism, Brahmanism, casteism, rioters and looters of the country,” said the JNUSU leader in his blistering speech at the same place (administrative block) where he had addressed students just a day before his arrest.
Kumar said, “Modiji was talking about Stalin and Khrushchev in Parliament. When I heard him speaking I felt like jumping into the TV screen, grabbing his suit and saying, ‘Modiji, please speak about Hitler a little’. Forget about Hitler, talk about Mussolini whose black cap you wear and with whom RSS founder MS Golwalkar went to meet.”
“I want to remind our government that 69 percent voted against you. Just 31 percent voters voted for you and some of them were caught up in your jumlas. And today, they are running a distraction campaign so that people don’t ask them the real questions,” he added.
“Madam Smriti Irani, you will not teach us deshbhakti (patriotism) and deshdroh (anti-national). Let the court decide and define it. And yes, we are not your children. We are your political opponents,” he said.
“We are being targeted because we took on the government through Occupy UGC movement and demanded justice for Hyderabad University student Rohith Vemula. All this was pre-planned. You want to silence one Rohith, today look at how big that revolution has become. I have not said this before, but my family earns Rs 3,000 a month. Can you imagine somebody like me doing a PhD in any other college? It was not possible without JNU. And they are calling anybody who stands up for this, a traitor? What kind of a self-proclaimed nationalism is this?” he added.
He steered clear of saying anything on the case against him. \"The matter is sub-judice, I have nothing to say on what is under the court,\" he said. Calling the BJP-linked students\' organisation ABVP \"a political opponent and not an enemy\".
JNUSU leader Shehla Rashid said, “There is nothing that Kanhaiya or any of us will do which can be construed as anti-national or violating his bail conditions. Kanhaiya is the elected student representative of JNUSU and we believe he is well within his rights to address the students.”