For the family of student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, Holi came 20 days early as news of the JNUSU president’s interim bail for six months trickled in on Wednesday evening.
Relatives, friends and sympathisers of Kanhaiya thronged his ancestral house, 125 km east of Patna, to smear abeer (coloured powder) on Kanhaiya’s parents — Jayshankar Singh (61) and Meena Devi (50).
The parents joy knew no bounds as they watched their son on TV, being escorted out of the Delhi high court amid tight security.
“I always had faith in the judiciary. My son is certainly not anti-national. The BJP and the RSS had conspired against him. The doctored video tapes are a testimony to this fact,” said Singh, a staunch supporter of the Communist Party of India.
As Devi thanked the Gods, Kanhaiya’s brother Prince Kumar (28) said, “We knew all along my brother would get a clean chit. It was just a matter of time. He is certainly not anti-national…”
His elder brother Manikant Kumar (35), the major earning member of the family, was in Delhi to support his brother.
His father, recovering from a paralytic attack and a hip fracture, sat glued to the TV from 8 am for news about his son’s bail.
Kanhaiya’s mother, an anganwadi sevika (health worker), joined him at 3 pm, after work.
Together, the family sat huddled in a small, poorly lit, thatched room about 10 feet by 12 feet, flipping through channels until the news broke at 7 pm.
Relief writ large on his face, Jayshankar told HT, “Never once did I get any complaint about my son since his school days…Kanhaiya was always a good boy and his teachers liked him. I had full faith in him that he would have never said anything anti-national.”
Outside the house, a painting on the wall by artists and Kanhaiya’s friends from Santiniketan near Kolkata said it all — a crocodile trying to gobble up JNU students, with the slogan ‘Save JNU, Save India’.