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

Mar, 04 2016 IST

  • 17:03 (IST)

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

    When asked about what Afzal Guru meant to him, Kanhaiya said, "Afzal Guru was a citizen of India. He was a resident of Jammu and Kashmir. The law punished him. Speaking about that punishment is allowed by the same law."

    He went on to say that Rohith Vemula was his icon. "But Afzal Guru is not my icon. Rohith Vemula is. If the government is responsible for Rohith Vemula's death, we will fight for him. Our fight is long. That is why we won't have a victory march. We will have a unity march," he said.

  • 17:00 (IST)

    "Whether it is the farmer or the soldier, we fight for all," Kanhaiya Kumar said. "We want to tell the nation that we are being lynched by mobs in trains. Fabricated videos were used to spoil the image of JNU," he added.

    "Someone appointed a person to count condoms in the university," Kanhaiya said. "Many students study here. They are trying to make the society a better place. There is a fight to make democracy stronger."

    "We want to make the country a more united place. At a time when there is an attack of globalisation, it is very important to save our traditions and unity," he said.

  • 16:55 (IST)

    We are not terrorists: Kanhaiya

    "A worry that I have about every student and professor of JNU is that when they go out in the society, they'll face threats. A few channels maligned JNU. They couldn't even make a difference between anti-national and national and started calling us terrorists," Kanhaiya said.

    "Like other parents' children, we are also children. We are not terrorists," he said.

  • 16:53 (IST)

    'Constitution not a video which can be doctored'

    "We condemn the 9 February incident. Whether that was anti-nationalism or not will be decided by the courts," Kanhaiya said. "The Constitution is not a video which can be doctored," he added.

    He also asked people to raise questions on the subsidies being given in other sectors like the avation sector.

    "There are no personal differences (between him and the government) There are only ideological differences," he said.

  • 16:47 (IST)

    Dark clouds cannot hide the red sun: Kanhaiya

    "There are some dark clouds. But it is only after dark clouds that there are heavy rains," Kanhaiya said.

    "These dark clouds will go away. I want to tell the nation that after 22 days in jail, the most hopeful thing that I learnt was that these dark clouds won't be able to hide the red sun," he said.

    "We have to stop the people who talk of democracy but then destroy democracy," he further said.

    "Your plans to divide the nation and the farmers and soldiers of this nation will fail because there is a difference between nationalism and anti-nationalism," he said, referring to the Modi government.

  • 16:44 (IST)

    Student of JNU can never be a deshdrohi: Kanhaiya

    In a press conference, Kanhaiya Kumar again thanked the people who had supported JNU. "I thank those who stood up to save the autonomy of the educational institutions and secure their future," he said.

    "I thank all the historians, teachers, musicians, journalists and filmmakers who supported us," Kanhaiya further said.

    "JNU is a historic institution which stands up for democracy. Through this press conference, we want to tell the nation that the subsidies through which we study in JNU have not been wasted. The person studying in JNU can never be a deshdrohi," he said.

    (Updates for 4 March begin)

  • 23:59 (IST)

    'Azaadi' slogans heard at JNU as Kanhaiya Kumar finishes his powerful speech

  • 23:57 (IST)

    We want freedom not from India but from those who loot India: Kanhaiya

    "You cannot turn lies into the truth," he said.

    "In this country, trying to distract the actual questions of the people and trying to crush the voice of the JNU will not work. You will not be able to crush this revolution. The more you try to oppress us, the more we will fight," he added.

    "Inside the campus, the forces who try to divide the nation, whether this is the RSS or ABVP, JNU will stand up against those forces. We will win this fight," he said.

    He also told the media to "give time to JNU...tell the people that we want freedom not from India but from those who loot India."

  • 23:53 (IST)

    People who are standing up for me are also being called anti-nationals: Kanhaiya

    "I don't have any connection with any party. But the people who are standing up for me are also being called anti-nationals," he said.

    "Sitharam Yechury and Rahul Gandhi are also being called anti-national," Kanhaiya said, adding that a lot was also being said against Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

    "Actually, they are not speaking for JNU. they are merely making the distinction between right and wrong," he said. Kanhaiya also reminded the government that 69 percent of the country had voted against them in the Lok Sabha polls of 2014.

    "You tried winning over people by saying 'har har'. But now people are angry because of 'arhar'," he said, making a reference to the rising price of dal.

  • 23:48 (IST)

    'You always talk about Mann Ki Baat. For a change, talk about Maa ki baat.'

    "I talked to my mother after 3 months. Whenever I stayed in JNU, I was not talking a lot to her. After going to jail, I realised the importance of talking to her," Kanhaiya said.

    "My mother told me that she was not making fun of Modi. She said that it was the government which was making fun of them," he said.

    "Kabhi mann ki baat karte hain...kabhi maa ki baat bhi kar lein (You always keep talking about Mann Ki Baat...talk about what the mother has to say for a change)," Kanhaiya further said.

    "What is happening in the country is very dangerous. I am not talking about one party or one media channel. I am not only taking about soldiers. I am talking about the entire country," he said.

    "What kind of a country will it be if it does not have any countrymen? We should salute all those who stood up for JNU," he said.

  • 23:43 (IST)

    'Pradhan Mantri Mann Ki Baat karte hain...sunte nahi hain'

    "You (the government) have killed one Rohith. Now see how big this revolution has become," Kanhaiya said.

    "I got two bowls in jail. One of them was red. I was looking at that bowl and I was thinking that something good was going to happen in this country," he further said, describing his experience in jail.

    "We will help establish a government which truly works for 'sabka saath, sabka vikaas'," he said. "I wanted to tell Modiji, "Thodi Hitler ki baat kijiye. Leave Hitler, talk about Mussolini instead. Your guruji Golwalkar saahab had gone to meet Mussolini."

    "Pradhan Mantri Mann Ki Baat karte hain...sunte nahi hain (The Prime Minister only does 'Mann Ki Baat'...but never listens)," he further said.

  • 23:39 (IST)

    'Govt wants to crush JNU so that people from poor backgrounds cannot get a PhD'

    "ABVP is after fake revolution. We're after the real revolution," he said.

    "I want to tell the media that there are those people, who - like me - come from a poor background, but did not get admission in JNU and are in the army," he further said.

    "That is why you (the government) want to crush the JNU so that the backward people cannot dream of getting a PhD," he said.

    "Whether it is the person working in the field, whether it is the person fighting for us in the army, or whether it is the person fighting for freedom in JNU, we will not stop fighting for them," he further said.

    "We fight for equality. So that a peon's son and the President's son can study in an equal environment," said Kanhaiya. "We are asking for freedom from poverty social oppression. And we will get that freedom through this institution. This was also Rohith's dream."

  • 23:33 (IST)

    Kanhaiya Kumar also described his experience with the police.

    "Police asked us, 'Why do you keep chating this lal salaam?'" he said, adding that he told them that "Lal means kranti, Salaam means salute to that revolution."

    "I come from a backward place. I come from a poor family. In the police too, most of the people are from poor backgrounds," he said.

  • 23:31 (IST)

    We're not asking for freedom from India, we're asking for freedom in India: Kanhaiya

    "The people who fight are not responsible. Those who create fights are responsible," Kanhaiya said.

    "Who is responsible for creating these fights? We want to ask those people who make prime time news," he said, criticising the media channels who had targetted him.

    "We are not asking for freedom from India. We are asking for freedom in India," he said.

  • 23:27 (IST)

    Why aren't you concerned about the farmers dying in the country? Kanhaiya asks the govt

    "I want to tell you: Gettng admission in JNU is not easy. Forgetting people in JNU is not easy," Kanhaiya said.

    "Whenever the authorities of this nation have oppressed people, people have raised their voices. And we will also raise our voices," he said.

    "I salute the soldiers martyred on our borders," Kanhaiya further said.

    "One BJP leader in Lok Sabha said soldiers are dying. I want to ask him: Is he your brother? What do you have to say about the countless number of farmers dying the country? Don't create a false issue in this country by taking the names of those soldiers who were martyred," Kanhaiya said, after the crowd erupted with cheers and applause.

  • 23:24 (IST)

    Cyber cell will send you doctored videos if you speak against the govt: Kanhaiya

    "If we speak against the government, the cyber cell will send you doctored videos," Kanhaiya further said.

    "This is a very serious time. In this serious time, we need to think about the organised way in which JNU was attacked. This was organised because you (the government) want to finish the fight for justice for Rohith Vemula," he said.

    "The JNU row is in prime time because you want the nation to forget about the Rs 15 lakh promise," he said, referring to the Modi government.

  • 23:14 (IST)

    You are eating what you earned: Kanhaiya

    "The PM has tweeted saying, 'Satyameva Jayate'. But since that saying belongs to the nation and not the PM, even I say, 'Satyameva Jayate'," said Kanhaiya. "I don't think a student has been used as a political tool," he said.

    Kanhaiya then took a dig at the government, saying, "some people say they will bring back black money, 'sabka saath sabka vikaas'...Even though we Indians forget easily, everyone knows about the jumla now because of the uproar created."

    "The way to make them forget is to stop the fellowship in the institutions," he said.

    Kanhaiya also said that the protests the Modi government was facing was because of their own doing. "You are eating what you earned," he said.

  • 23:03 (IST)

    I used to study more and face the system less: Kanhaiya

    "I will not give a speech today. I will just tell you my experience today," Kanhaiya said. "I used to study more and face the system less. This time, I have studied less and faced the system more."

    "I have nothing to say about the process of the courts...The people who truly love the Constitution will understand what I have to say," he said.

  • 23:01 (IST)

    They had planned everything, our reaction was spontaneous: Kanhaiya

    "The way JNU stood up for the people of the nation is admirable," Kanhaiya said. "The entertaining aspect is that this reaction was spontaneous. They had planned everything and our every reaction was spontaneous," he added.

    "I trust the laws and courts of this country. Change is the truth and change will come. We have no hatred towards anybody, especially ABVP," Kanhaiya said.

  • 22:45 (IST)

    I thank those people sitting in the Parliament: Kanhaiya

    Kanhaiya Kumar sarcastically thanked the politicians in the Parliament too. "I thank those 'great' people sitting in Parliament who decide on what is right and wrong. I thank the Delhi Police," he said, as the crowd cheered him on.

    "I thank those TV news channels. To insult JNU, they gave it place in the prime time," he said.

    "I have no hatred for those people. All those people who consider themselves political gurus. Watch the video of the condition of the ABVP members. Imagine what the condition of JNU will be in the country after we defeated them here," Kanhaiya said.

  • 22:40 (IST)

    I thank the people of India: Kanhaiya

    "Through this platform, on behalf of the students as JNU students, I thank the people of India and the media," Kanhaiya Kumar said.

    "I thank the people who fought for justice, who fought for Rohith Vemula," said Kanhaiya Kumar.

  • 22:23 (IST)

    'Azaadi', 'Lal salaam' slogans heard at JNU campus

    As Kanhaiya Kumar was released, 'azaadi' and 'lal salaam' slogans were heard at JNU campus.

JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar reached the Jawaharlal Nehru University premises on Thursday hours after being released from Tihar jail where he was lodged on the charge of sedition, triggering celebrations on the campus that had lately become a venue for vociferous protests.

Students and teachers eagerly awaiting to catch a glimpse of Kanhaiya had gathered at the Ganga Dhaba from where they will take out a victory march to the Administration Block which has become a venue of protest since his arrest on 12 February.

People also queued up outside Kumar's hostel Brahmaputra with 'dhols' and 'daflis' to accompany him during the march.

Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

Meanwhile, two separate meetings of the students union and JNU teachers association were underway to decide the future course of action. Kanhaiya is expected to address the gathering after the march.

However, the university administration maintained the report of the high-level committee has not been submitted to it yet.

"The five-member panel had a deadline till 12 am today. The varsity will take a call based on the recommendations of the panel," a senior JNU official said.

"Kanhaiya was released from the jail at around 6.30 pm after his bail bond and release orders were properly scrutinised," Additional IG (Prisons) and Tihar Spokesperson Mukesh Prasad said.

The student leader was greeted with loud cheers by his supporters when he came out of Tihar Jail. Celebrations also erupted on the JNU campus.

A court in New Delhi had ordered the release of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar from the Tihar jail after he furnished bail bond in the sedition case, a day after he was granted six months' interim bail by the Delhi High Court.

Kanhaiya, who was in Tihar jail after being remanded to judicial custody in connection with the case, had furnished his bail bond before a magistrate at a makeshift court in a police station in New Delhi.

According to the sources, the magistrate had accepted his bail bond and ordered his release from jail.

Sources had told PTI that he had furnished a personal bond of Rs 10,000 and one surety of the like amount as directed by high court on Wednesday.

A faculty member of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), professor SN Malakar, had stood surety for him.

Kanhaiya was granted interim bail after the high court had observed that FIR lodged in connection with an on-campus event that led to his arrest on sedition charge suggested it "is a case of raising anti-national slogans which do have the effect of threatening national integrity".

He was arrested on 12 February in the case in which he and others, including two arrested JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, are accused of raising anti-India slogans during an event organised inside the JNU campus on 9 February.

The two other students who were arrested are presently in judicial custody.

(With inputs from PTI)