Students’ protests: Rahul Gandhi makes shrill attack on Modi govt
New Delhi: In the second such protest in less than a
week, thousands of students from various universities across the country on
Tuesday took to the streets in the national capital demanding justice for Dalit
scholar Rohith Vemula and protesting the JNU crisis.
The students marched from Ambedkar Bhawan in central
Delhi’s Jandewalan to Jantar Mantar, the capital’s protest hotspot, where they
were first joined by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and then by Delhi Chief
Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The protesters, including hundreds of students from
University of Hyderabad and Osmania University, raised Ambedkarite slogans such
as “Jai Bhim” and demanded justice for Vemula, alleging that the Centre was
responsible for his suicide.
Students from universities in the national capital,
such as Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University, Jamia Milia and Ambedkar
University, joined the march condemning the police action in JNU while
demanding the immediate release of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar.
Vemula’s mother Radhika and brother Raja also
participated in the march.
In his address, Rahul mounted a shrill attack on the
Modi government and RSS, accusing them of crushing voices of dissent of college
and university students across the country. He also pitched for a law to
protect them from “discrimination” and “suppression”.
“We need a law to ensure that students in colleges and
universities do not face discrimination and their voice is not stifled,” he
Accusing the Centre of muzzling the voice of students
across universities in the country if they differ with ideology of RSS, Rahul
said Congress will fight for bringing a law to check such “suppression”.
He alleged that government was trying to suppress not
only the youths but also the Adivasis, Dalits and other weaker sections.
In his address, Kejriwal said the Centre was at “war”
with the students of the country and asked the Prime minister to “mend his
ways”. Otherwise, he said, students will “teach him a lesson”.
“If Modiji does not mend ways then very soon the youth
and students will come together to teach him a lesson,” Kejriwal said, adding
“I had said earlier, ‘Modiji students se pange mat lena’ (don’t mess with
students). Otherwise they will rock your government and you won’t have a clue,”
he said, amid loud cheers.
A major protest against the JNU row was organised in
the city last week where a large number of students, academia, intellectuals
and rights activists had participated.