New Delhi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said the government was trying to crush students’ voice in the country by ordering police action in university campuses.
“They (the government) do not understand that by crushing you (students), they are making you stronger,” Gandhi said at a meet at the Jawaharlal Nehru University that was organised to protest against the police crackdown on the campus and the arrest of the university students’ union president in a sedition case on Friday.
The students’ union has declared a strike in the university from Monday.
Gandhi drew comparisons with the Hyderabad university controversy involving students owing allegiance to ABVP and Ambedkar Student Association and the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohit Vemula following his suspension from the university.
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“I was in Hyderabad a few days back. A youngster there expressed himself and the government says he is an anti-national. What did he do? Later, the minister turns around and says that he was not even a Dalit,” said Gandhi, refering to the government’s reaction to the suicide.
On Tuesday night, some JNU students organised a meet to mourn the hanging of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) co-founder Maqbool Bhat, where anti-India slogans were allegedly raised.
Another commemorative meeting was held at the Press Club of India in Delhi on Wednesday where anti-India slogans and placards were raised.
Gandhi said the government was terrified of poor Indians raising their voices against it.
“They are scared of the poor Indians, weak Indians getting a voice because they might turn around and ask them a question. They do not want to be questioned,” he said.
“People who showed black flags on my face, I feel proud that in my country they have the right to show black flags in front of my face,” Gandhi said.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI national secretary D. Raja, CPI-ML leader Kavita Krishnan and other leaders were present on the occasion.