Jawaharlal Nehru University students union president Kanhaiya Kumar on Monday compared the alleged onslaught on varsities with Gujarat riots alleging both of them were carried out “with support” from state machinery.
The student leader, accused of sedition in connection with an event on JNU campus, said there is a fundamental difference between “emergency” and “fascism”.
Asserting that there is a difference between 2002 riots and 1984 Sikh massacre. Kanhaiya alleged that Gujarat violence was carried out through state machinery while the other was caused due to mob frenzy.
“There is difference between emergency and fascism. During emergency, goons of only one party were engaged into goondaism, in this (fascism) entire state machinery is resorting to goondaism. There is difference between riots of 2002 and 1984 Sikh riots,” he said.
“There is a fundamental difference between a mob killing a common man and massacring people through state machinery. Therefore, the threat of communal fascism we are faced with today, there is an attack being launched on universities, because like Hitler, Modi-ji doesn’t have support from intellectuals in India. No intellectual is defending Modi regime,” Kanhaiya, a member of Leftist All India Students Federation, said.
“Today it’s an era of Islamophobia. Leave aside the words of terrorism and terrorist. The moment these words will come to your mind, imprints of face of a Muslim person will be there in your mind. This is Islamophobia,” the student leader said.
“Connotations, meaning of a word change. Hence, it is important for us to understand history before we reach conclusions,” he said.
Kanhaiya was addressing the gathering during a panel discussion on “Voices of Azaadi” during the “Jashne-e-azaadi” festival which organised to celebrate the birth anniversary of the late historian Professor Bipan Chandra.
The celebration comes at a time when JNU students have kickstarted a “nationalism and azaadi debate” across the country after it came under attack for an event on campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.
Kanhaiya and two more students-Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya — were arrested in a sedition case over the event and are out on bail now.
Umar said though they have been released from the confines of Tihar jail but they continue to face threats. “A very dangerous situation is unfolding before our eyes for
all of us. Today also I read a news report which said before April 8, some person will come to JNU and shoot down me and Kanhaiya.