On Tuesday Jawaharlal Nehru University Student’s Union president Kanhaiya Kumar led an “azaadi” march demanding the release of Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, JNU students who are in judicial custody on charges of sedition.
In a fiery speech he delivered at the gathering at Parliament Street (video above) he refrained from speaking about Khalid and Bhattacharya, and instead turned his energies to the Modi government. He lampooned Modi’s promises made to the public before he became Prime Minister. He said the sensex may rise and fall, but the prices in the market have only been increasing.
He also brought up the issue of jobs. He said while Modi had promised he’ll create 10 crore jobs, according to official figures in the past ten years no new jobs have been created.
“Modi ji you said no one becomes a leader by giving speeches, this is really applicable to you... It’s been two years since this government came to power, but there have been neither ‘acche din’ nor ‘acche raat’.”
In about an hour long speech, Kumar attacked the government on several fronts. He also said that while he is being accused of having political ambitions, he has always been with the “andolan” (struggle) and will continue to be.
Kumar demanded Smriti Irani’s resignation for mismanagement of academic institutions across the country. “She calls us her children, but has she ever spoken to my mother or Rohith Vemula’s mother? I refused to be called her child. We demand she resign for the way academic institutions are being attacked. If she cannot resign, she should at least apologise to us.”
Arundhati Roy also spoke at the rally and said that “this is a battle between people who know how to hate versus people who know how to think.”