To express solidarity with Kanhaiya Kumar and celebrate his return from jail, JNU students took out a victory march at the university campus. Kanhaiya delivered an impassioned speech in front of JNU students at the university, shortly after being released on bail from Tihar jail.
Carrying posters of B R Ambedkar and shouting slogans like “Jail ka Tala Toota hai, comrade Kanhaiya chhoota hai”, the students first gathered at Ganga Dhaba and then moved towards the admin block where Kumar was to address them.
Despite his return coming with riders and the bail being interim, supporters described it as a triumph for truth and the cause for saving democracy and the university, a message their posters conveyed as well.
Recalling a conversation with a police official, he said that he was asked about the meaning of “laal salaam”. He explained to the constable that ‘laal’ represents ‘kranti’ and that the slogan meant, “We’re saluting ‘kranti.”
One of the interesting messages carried on a poster read, “If you have been to jail for justice, then you are my friend.”
Some excerpts of Kanhaiya’s speech in JNU campus:
On Prime Minister Narendra Modi
❝I have many differences with the PM, but I agree with his tweet Satyameva Jayate because these are words in our Constitution. Today the honourable PM was talking about Stalin and Khrushchev, I say Modi ji speak about Hitler too sometimes. Or maybe Mussolini?
They say black money will come back, sabka saath sabka vikas, equality and all that. Yes we Indians forget things too soon, but this time the tamasha is too big. These jumlas won’t be forgotten. I want to remind our government that 69% voted against you. Just 31% voted for you and some of them were caught up in your jumlas.❞
❝We are not seeking azaadi (independence) from India but azaadi within India… Is it wrong to ask for azaadi from the problems India faces?
What will happen if you speak up? Their cyber-cell will release doctored videos and count condoms in your dustbins.❞
On Rohith Vemula issue
❝This attack is to delegitimize the UGC protests, to prevent justice to Rohith Vemula. You want to silence one Rohith, today look how big that revolution has become. Let me just say it is not easy to get admission in JNU neither it is easy to silence those in JNU.❞
❝No ill-feeling towards ABVP; no animosity, because we are democratic. I respect dissent and the Constitution. We don’t look at the ABVP as an enemy, we look at them like the Opposition. The ABVP in our campus is more rational as compared to the ABVP outside our campus.❞
On RSS and dissent
❝RSS wants to suppress the voice of dissent. The more you suppress us we will stand up more. It is a long fight. We will continue fight without bowing down. We have created history we will create history. We will fight. We will win.❞
The crowd was almost unequivocal in its criticism of the sedition case but general secretary Rama Naga cautioned against saying anything which could be misinterpreted later.
The fiery speech, of course, raised the question of whether he was violating his bail conditions, including to “not actively or passively participate in any activity which may be termed as anti-national” and to try to control anti-national activities in the campus. Also, the professor standing guarantee for Kanhaiya should “ensure that his thoughts and energy are channelised in a constructive manner”.
According to the sources, the magistrate had accepted his bail bond and ordered his release from jail.
Sources said that he had furnished a personal bond of Rs 10,000 and one surety of the like amount as directed by high court on Wednesday.
Kanhaiya was granted interim bail after the high court had observed that FIR lodged in connection with an on-campus event that led to his arrest on sedition charge suggested it “is a case of raising anti-national slogans which do have the effect of threatening national integrity”.
He was arrested on 12 February in the case in which he and others, including two arrested JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, are accused of raising anti-India slogans during an event organised inside the JNU campus on 9 February.
The two other students who were arrested are presently in judicial custody.
(With Agency Inputs)