Activists comprising different groups organised a solidarity meet at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, in support of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students who got arrested on 12 February for organising a meeting on Afzal Guru’s death anniversary. The meet was organised by National Alliance of People (NAPM), All India Students Federation (AISF), All India Students Association (AISA), Delhi Solidarity Movement (DSM), Sangwari Theatre group etc. Shwetha, convenor of the meeting says, “This not a protest of any single organisation, it is a collective one in support of JNU and its students.” She adds that police and media should leave JNU alone. “Media is biased and is tainting the institution.”
Kavitha Krishnan, secretary, All India Progessive Women’s Association (AIPWA) says that the “abduction” of students is a sign of desperation from the government. “Modi government is very uncomfortable with the students. Now the government is doing what they did to Rohith Vemula, calling him anti-national. None is trying to do Bharat ki barbadi (India’s destruction), we are trying to save Bharat from this fascist regime,” tells Krishnan.
“The mob which killed Akhlaq, Kalburgi and several others are the real threat to India. The government is afraid of the slogans which are raised by the students,” she says. When asked about comments of Rajnath Singh in which he said that LeT chief Hafiz Sayeed is backing the JNU protest, Krishnan replied that it is pathetic that the home minister of this country believes a fake tweet. “That is really sad and funny,” she says.
Former JNUSU president Amit Sengupta says that the government has gone mad and they are repeating mistakes by arresting students. “This kind of mistakes will really boomerang on them,” says Sengupta. “The JNU students were always peaceful, rational and progressive. They have never violated rules of the Indian Constitution and have been democratic.” “A university which is known for its argumentative nature and great debating culture is now the target of the government,” he adds. The movement started by FTII students has now reached JNU. This wave of students’ movements which is happening all over the country is a big question mark for the current regime.