One of the six JNU students accused of shouting seditious slogans has told HRD Minister Smriti Irani that he was not a child and she was not a motherly minister.
The comments has been made in an open letter blaming ‘saffron politics’ for the death of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula.
“I heard the speech you gave in Parliament. I want to make it clear that this letter is not from a ‘child’ to a ‘motherly’ minister but from a person who believes in a certain political ideology to another political person…,” said Anant Prakash Narayan, former vice president of JNU students union.
“You assert your identity as a woman… But Vemula’s mother, a Dalit woman, fought this patriarchal society to raise her kids. She gave them her identity. But why is your government associating the identity of her children to her husband? Why are you snatching away her right to have an independent identity? (sic),” Narayan said.
The letter has been published on Kafila.org.
Narayan further says, “We are your natural target because universities are places where there is reasoning and science… We do not expect mercy from you. You can attack us with all your might but we will also face you with full confidence,” the student said, signing off the letter as “from the ‘anti-national’ created by you”.
“We were debarred by an inquiry committee which didn’t even listen to us. Should you not have been cautious not to announce our names in Parliament till the committee released its decision?” he added.
On the controversy surrounding Mahishasur martyrdom day he wrote, “Don’t you know that in certain parts of this country, Adivasis and Dalits associate their religious beliefs with Mahishasura (the demon slain by Goddess Durga). I am a Communist and don’t believe in religion. But I believe that everyone has a right to practice their religion as per their beliefs.”
Meanwhile, the issue of privilege motion against Irani created a brief uproar in the Lok Sabha before Finance Minister Arun Jaitely started presenting the Union Budget 2016-17 today.
Opposition members were on their feet seeking to know the status of their notices against Irani for “misleading” the House on the Vemula issue.
“I have received notices raising the question of privilege dated February 26 and 29 respectively against Smriti Irani. The matter is under my consideration,” Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said, seeking to pacify the Opposition.
After the brief uproar and Mahajan’s statement, order was restored and Jaitley began his budget speech.
Congress, Left and the JDU had announced plans of bringing a Privilege Motion against Irani, who is in the eye of a storm following her remarks in Parliament on the issue last week.