Rahul accuses NDA govt of suppressing students voice

Rahul accuses NDA govt of suppressing students voice

Rahul accuses NDA govt of suppressing students voice

In a hard-hitting attack on Modi government over JNU student's arrest, Rahul Gandhi today virtually drew parallel of it with the regime of Hitler, accusing NDA of "suppressing" students' voice and telling students "don't let those bullies push you around".

Gandhi, who visited the JNU campus along with Delhi PCC chief Ajay Maken and former Union Minister Anand Sharma to express solidarity with students agitating against the arrest of JNU Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar in a sedition case, was shown black flag by members BJP's student wing ABVP.

Responding to it, Gandhi said,"People who showed black flag on my face, I feel proud that in my country they have the right to show black flag."

Going hammer and tongs against the government, the Congress Vice President said, "People who suppress voice of this institute are anti-national. They are trying to crush the voice of the youth. I was in Hyderabad a few days back and these same people or their leaders said that Rohith Vemula was an anti-national," Gandhi said.

"There was a person in Germany named Hitler who had destroyed millions and millions of people. If only that man had listened to other people, may be that country would not have gone through that much of pain," he said.

Noting that he would be happy debating with the RSS and the BJP and they expressing their opinion, Gandhi said,"in fact if they will listen to us, they will convinced by us."

Asking students not to give up, the Congress Vice President said, "they do not understand that in crushing you, they are making you stronger. Not only this institution, not only us, not only the people sitting here but there are more than a billion people in this country who believe in you and are standing right behind you."Don't let those bullies push you around. When they look inside themselves, what they see is fear. They are scared. They are terrified. They are terrified of poor, weak Indian people getting voice. Question them at every single step. Don't only question them, question yourself also."

Gandhi drew parallel between the actions against students in JNU and events leading to the suicide of the dalit scholar Vemula and took potshots at Narendra Modi saying he "only expressed pain over it. That's it."

"This institution represents that voice. I was in Hyderabad some days back and the same people said Rohith was an anti-national element. A youngster expresses himself and the national government says he is anti-national. What did he do? All he said that he feels a little bit of pain that he wants to express what is inside him.

"Later a minister comes and says he was not even a Dalit. Sushma Swaraj ji, nobody asked whether he was a dalit or not. The question is why an Indian student was not allowed to say what he believed in," Gandhi said. 

Emphasizing the significance of allowing people to raise their voice and air their different opinions, Gandhi said a country is nothing without the voice of people.

"When we fought against the British, we fought them for for our voice. The most important thing we have is the voice of our people.

"If India is progressing, growing, that is only because of one reason and that is more and more people in India are getting their voice," he said.

The Congress Vice President, who had yesterday accused Modi government of "bullying" the institution, today scaled up the attack saying "they are simply crushing voices".

In his speech marked by frequent disruptions, Gandhi said that he will be happy to see even people from RSS and BJP express their opinion.

"We respect voices that are raised in front of our voice. We also respect what is raised behind our back," he said.

The Congress Vice President had yesterday tweeted "Modi Govt & ABVP bullying an institution like JNU simply because it won't toe their line is completely condemnable.

"While Anti-India sentiment is unquestionably unacceptable, the right to dissent & debate is an essential ingredient of democracy".

Gandhi's visit to JNU today came a day after the arrest of JNU Students' Union President Kanhaiya Kumar in a sedition case over an event at the varsity campus against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, sparking massive outrage among students and criticism from non-BJP parties which dubbed it as an "emergency-like" situation.

AICC Communication department chief Randeep Surjewala alleged that the BJP has been "silencing" the voice of students from FTII, IIT Madras, Hyderabad Central university and other universities.

"To brand the entire JNU as anti-national is a great disservice to the country," he said backing Gandhi's visit to the campus saying it amounts to to stand with students in solidarity who are not guilty and who are not part of anti-India sentiment.

He also said that Gandhi's visit is protest against BJP seeking "revenge against the entire JNU" as an institution.

"It appears from their action that BJP wants to shut down JNU," he said.