Students from Delhi University and JNU are expected to protest against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s much publicised visit to Sri Ram College of Commerce later today, calling it a ‘misuse of academic spaces’.
Modi, who has been subject of much speculation recently over his projection as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the SRCC’s business conclave.
“This is an academic space. And academic spaces stand for secularism. Modi is using this space to seek legitimacy from the young intellectuals for his candidacy for the PM seat. We oppose the communal corporate model that he is seeking to legitimize. We reject his economic model which is based on exclusion and displacement. Many of us in the student community are against Narendra Modi’s brand of politics and we protest this misuse of academic spaces,” said Piyush Raj, joint secretary of the JNU Students Union and member of ultra-left student All India Students Association (AISA).
Left-leaning student organizations and teachers from JNU, Delhi University and Jamia Milia Islamia, said Raj, would participate in the protest.
“We will peacefully protest outside the college premises. We are raising some questions to Narendra Modi. We don’t want to emulate his style of politics, we will peacefully protest with placards and slogans,” said Raj.
Amit Yadav, who is organizing the protests of student in Delhi University, a part of which SRCC is, said he expected up to 500 students to participate in the protests. “The women who were raped during the Gujarat riots are yet to get justice. We are also raising the issue of land acquisition and suicide of farmers in the state. We are expecting at least 500 students to participate in the protest,” said Yadav, member of All India Student Federation (AISF), the student wing of Communist Party of India (CPI),
Questioning Modi’s projection as a Prime Ministerial candidate Durgesh Tripathi, vice-president of the AISF and a JNU student said, “Due the Godhra massacre, we are opposing Narendra Modi. The BJP is projecting him as PM, but we don’t want him as our PM.” Also backing the protest is Student’s Federation of India (SFI), student wing of the CPM.