Rohith Vemula my hero; not Afzal Guru, says Kanhaiya
“We want freedom, not from India, but within India - from poverty, inequality and exploitation,” he said when asked about his definition of freedom.
“Afzal and Maqbool Bhat are not our heroes, but Rohith Vemula is. We want (Babasaheb Bhimrao) Ambedkar and Vemula to be born in every house,” Kanhaiya said.
“Sedition is being used against those who are raising (public) issues. I never uttered any anti-national slogans. Nationalism is not silence over discrimination and injustice,” Kanhaiya told a English news channel.
Kumar was arrested on February 12 after being charged with sedition at an event held at the JNU campus on February 9, in which allegedly anti-national slogans were raised.
Kumar said, “I strongly condemn the events that occurred on February 9. However, the court must decide whether it is sedition or not.”
“ I want to assure the taxpayers of this country that a JNU student can never be anti-national. There is a conspiracy to defame JNU and other educational institutions. JNU has never supported something that is against the Constitution, and we want to expose to those who act against the Constitution.” Kumar stressed.
Without naming anyone, Kumar said that there have been efforts to fabricate the truth, adding, “The Constitution is not a video that can be doctored.” He also took a dig at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, whose legislator from Rajasthan, Gyan Dev Ahuja, had said that 3,000 condoms are used daily on the JNU campus.
Kanhaiya also said he could sense the change occurring in society and politics at large. “There is a team of lawyers fighting for us. People from all over the world are supporting us; it is a reality,” he said in reply to a question.
Responding to another query, he said (Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Prakash) Karat and (Sitaram) Yechury were not the only Jawaharlal Nehru University students in Indian politics. “(Union Commerce and Industry Minister) Nirmala Sitharaman is also from the JNU,” he said while recounting the names of other JNU alumni active in politics.