Kanhaiya Kumar: Terrorising common people has become government's big agenda

Updated: Aug 23, 2018, 12:13 IST | Pallavi Smart

Speaking at Mumbai Press Club, student leader Kanhaiya Kumar explains how BJP government has been targeting those who dare to speak up against it

Kanhaiya Kumar: Terrorising common people has become government's big agenda
Kanhaiya Kumar speaks at the Mumbai Press Club. Pic/Suresh Karkera

Firebrand student leader from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) – Kanhaiya Kumar –may refuse to state clearly whether he plans to venture into politics, but he appeared to be very confident of his agenda regarding how a government should function as he spoke at length during a talk held at the Mumbai Press Club on Wednesday evening.

Speaking about how solving basic issues should be the focus of the government and not safeguarding religion, Kanhaiya said, "Terrorising common people has become the government's major agenda, so that no one dares to ask the right questions." Starting off with a short speech, Kanhaiya took to answering questions from the media, hitting out at the BJP now and then. However, the session managed to keep everyone engaged for almost two hours.

'May or may be not'
When repeatedly asked about whether he would be contesting the upcoming elections, Kanhaiya said vaguely – "may or maybe not". However, he stressed on his desire to continue studying. "I don't know why everyone has issues with my studies. Nobody questions Modiji when he talks about having completed his MA at the age of 35. I completed my PhD within 30 years of age and I still plan to study further. I have more degrees than the PM, who is not even willing to show his own," he said.

Speaking about the deaths of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and Gauri Lankesh and the recent attack on student leader Umar Khalid, Kanhaiya said the government has been targeting them. "While there are these cases, there are also ones like the attack on Mahatma Gandhi Central University professor Motihari following his social media post criticising Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Now the trend is to attack anyone who raises questions against the government or something related to it. This is creating an atmosphere of fear, which is harmful for a democracy."

Diverting attention
Directly hitting out at the BJP, Kanhaiya spoke about how the person arrested from Maharashtra in the murder of Lankesh is the same who had created hindrances during his event in Chembur two years ago. "Just as it is clear that I was close to Lankesh, it is also clear that those who attacked her and me were close. And shockingly, all eventually turn out to be associated with the BJP."

"If anybody raises questions on the existing conditions, immediately there are questions about who is funding these voices. As a student it's my right to protest and raise questions. Why does it need to be funded by any third party?" he added.

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