On the occasion of Mother’s Day, JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, out on bail in a sedition case, wrote an open letter to HRD minister Smriti Irani asking how can a “mother” punish her children based on doctored videos and biased reports.
In the letter, the 29-year-old researcher referred to Irani as “anti-rational” mother of “anti-nationals” and extended her Mother’s Day wishes on behalf of students.
Kanhaiya, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were arrested for their alleged involvement in an event to commemorate Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Anti-national slogans were allegedly raised at the event on February 9.
Kanhaiya, who has been attacking Irani for her reference to all students as her children, said in the letter: “We are trying hard to study in the warmth of your motherly love. Under your reign, we are learning how to study despite police canes and hunger.”
He said that a friend asked him, “Under Modi’s regime — where besides our own mother, we also have mother cow, mother India, mother Ganges and mother Smriti — how could Rohith Vemula die? I am asking you this because I have no answer.”
Kanhaiya said his same “anti-national” friend also said that “mother” Smriti’s ministry sent several letters to punish Rohith and was also responsible for withholding his fellowship for seven months.
“In a great country like India, can a mother force her child to suicide? Can a mother accept punishments on her children based on doctored videos and a biased probe? Your children, starving for 11 days, are asking you this question. Please reply, if you find the time. The friend also called you an ‘anti-rational mother of anti-nationals’. I hope you will prove this allegation false in your factual reply,” he said.
Meanwhile, the indefinite hunger strike by JNU students in protest against the punishments awarded to 17 students for the February 9 event by the university entered its eleventh day on Sunday.
Kanhaiya had withdrawn from the fast last week after his health deteriorated and he had to undergo treatment for dehydration and ketosis at AIIMS.
ABVP called off their stir on Wednesday claiming they have got an assurance from the administration that their demands will be considered.
Fourteen students from the Left groups are still on strike.