JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is out on bail in a sedition case, wrote an open letter to HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Sunday, on the occasion of Mother’s Day, and asked how a “mother” can punish her children on the basis of biased probe reports and doctored videos.
Referring to the university investigation report of the controversial February 9 event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, 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”.
In an open letter with sarcastic overtones, 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.
“Today a friend sent asked me how under Mr 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. The 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,” he said in the letter.
“In a great country like India, can a mother force drive 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 added.
Meanwhile, the indefinite hunger strike by JNU students in protest against the punishments awarded by university in connection with the Afzal Guru event, entered 11th day ton 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 Kanhaiya had withdrawn from the fast last week after his health deteriorated and he had to undergo treatment for dehydration and ketosis at AIIMS. So far, six students have withdrawn from the strike while 14 others are still continuing their fast.
In celebration of mother’s day at JNU, various mothers residing on campus and outsiders including an 80-year-old wheel chair bound woman, joined the fasting students by going on a one-day hunger strike in solidarity.
ABVP member Saurabh Sharma, who was complainant of the February 9 event and has been slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000 for blocking traffic, started a donation campaign on Sunday to pay his penalty.