The Modi Government knows it is on its way out, says Kanhaiya Kumar in an exclusive chat with National Herald.
“The charge sheet has been framed keeping two motives in mind. Firstly, to target those who speak out against the government. Secondly, to give a talking point to its supporters before the election, in order to divert people’s attention from the government’s failures,” says Kanhaiya Kumar, former JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) President and a prospective candidate for the Lok Sabha seat from Begusarai as a CPI candidate.
The remarks were made in response to a question as to why Delhi Police had filed the charge sheet against him and others three years after the FIR was lodged for alleged anti-national slogans raised on the campus.
The student leader says that the BJP spokespersons have been going to town attacking the JNU after reports of the charge sheet first surfaced, in the process also taking potshots at opposition parties and Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
“The charge sheet is just an excuse to weaken the opposition unity and target Congress President Rahul Gandhi,” says Kumar.
“It is aware of the popular mood, the rising anger and that’s why there is so much panic that they are repeatedly changing the goalposts,” he adds.
The euphoria of the BJP spokespersons on TV channels, he exclaims with a short laugh, indicated their desperation to clutch at straws. Had this so-called patriotic government been serious about anti-national activities, he goes on to add, it would not have waited for three years to get the charge sheet ready.
For the first time the RSS also finds itself in the dock, he points out, along with the BJP. “Earlier, the RSS would work behind the scenes but this time people are questioning the role of the RSS in freedom struggle; they are talking of the opposition of the RSS to the tricolour, to the Constitution, to the role of Sarvarkar and how the RSS collaborated with the British rulers. That is why there is panic,” he claimed.
In trains, on the streets and in residential localities, he points out, RSS and BJP workers had no answer to people’s questions, on price-rise, on unemployment, on the promises, on Demonetisation etc.
That alone explains the timing, he feels. “Sedition is a serious charge but these people have made a mockery of it. They slapped the charge against Hardik Patel in Gujarat when he raised his voice for quota in jobs. In Assam they filed a case against Akhil Gogoi when he opposed the citizenship Bill. They have actually reduced it to a joke,” fumes Kumar.
In trains, on the streets and in residential localities, he points out, RSS and BJP workers had no answer to people’s questions, on price-rise, on unemployment, on the promises, on Demonetisation etc. Therefore, this charge sheet against us is meant to give them a talking point, he maintains.
“ The Home Minister Rajnath Singh had confidently asserted that what happened inside the JNU campus in February, 2016 was a conspiracy hatched in Pakistan and that Hafiz Sayeed was behind it. I would like to ask him why the charge sheet does not name Hafiz Sayeed or any Pakistani for that matter,” exclaims the former student leader.
Referring to an alleged part of the charge sheet which holds him responsible for the events in the campus since he was the JNUSU president, he says derisively, “ The problem with this Government is that it neither understands the system nor does it know to govern. If the JNUSU president must be held responsible for everything that happens in the campus, then the Home Minister should be held equally responsible since JNU has the presence of Delhi Police 24x7 and because Delhi Police reports to Rajnath Singh,” he laughs.
(The story was last updated with additional quotes at 11:35 PM)