SHRI M.B. RAJESH (PALAKKAD): Madam, we are discussing this important issue at a time when the campuses across the country are boiling in an unprecedented outrage and protest. Tens of thousands of students are coming out on the streets to fight an undeclared emergency imposed by the Government against the universities and campuses. Madam Speaker, two incidents have shaken the conscience of the entire nation. One is a suicide. It is, in fact, an institutional killing of Rohit Vemula, a brilliant student who wanted to become another Carl Sagan. He belonged to Hyderabad Central University. The second incident is of sending Kanhaiya Kumar, the elected President of JNUSU, to jail. Rohith Vemula is a Dalit student and Kanhaiya Kumar belongs to an extremely poor family whose mother is an Anganwadi teacher and whose family is surviving on a meagre income of Rs. 3,500 per month. What does it mean? This means that they do not want Dalits and deprived sections of students / youth belonging to Dalits and deprived sections to be in Universities. Eklavyas continue to lose their thumbs. This is continuously happening. Rohith Vemula was suspended due to continuous pressure exerted by two Union Ministers and when the Union Ministers sent 8 letters in a period of three months and when the Vice-Chancellor refused to take action against Rohith Vemula, a brilliant student, then they removed the Vice-Chancellor and a stooge was appointed in the Chair of Vice-Chancellor and he took action against Rohith Vemula. Unable to withstand the pressure that brilliant student ended his life by committing suicide. Hence, I said that this is not merely a suicide, but it is an institutional murder. Yesterday, I saw his mother and brother. They were in Delhi. Have you done justice to that family? Have you done justice to his mother? She has sought justice and she came to Delhi seeking justice. You have not done justice, but not only that you have added salt to the wounds by making insulting statements against Rohith Vemula. Even the Union Ministers have made insulting statements against Rohith Vemula. Now, they are targeting JNU, and even before JNU they targeted IIT, Chennai – a small debating forum called Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle. It was targeted; Delhi, IIT was targeted; and Pune, FTII was targeted. The students of FTII were accused as drug addicts and anarchists. The students of Chennai, IIT were accused as extremists. So, everybody who questions / challenges their ideological hegemony is being branded either as anti-national or drug addicts and anarchists. This is happening in our country. JNU has always been their prime target. They wanted to appoint one of their close man as Vice-Chancellor or Chancellor whatever it is, but they could not do it. Now, they are branding an entire University as anti-national. Which is this University? It is a University, which has made immense contributions to all walks of our nation’s life. Your Foreign Secretary is an alumnus of JNU and at least four dozen Government Secretaries under this Government … (Interruptions)

SHRI M.B. RAJESH (PALAKKAD): Yes, but I do not want to name that Minister. Anyway, more than four dozen Government Secretaries are alumnus of JNU. … (Interruptions) Even the man who is steering the ‘Make in India’ is also from JNU; the Chief of Anti-Terrorist Division of RAW; and your CBI, Director are all from JNU.


SHRI M.B. RAJESH (PALAKKAD): Madam, we were targeted by them. Now, we have to counter it. Pawan Kumar, who laid his life bravely fighting the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir recently, is also an alumnus from JNU. How can you brand such a prestigious University as centre of anti-nationals?


SHRI M.B. RAJESH (PALAKKAD): Do they have an iota of evidence to brand a University as a centre of anti-nationals and put the President of JNUSU behind bars? Yes, I can tell you that there has been fabrication of evidences and there have been photoshopping. In just a single week, there were four instances of photoshopping and fabrication of evidences. The first was the so-called tweet which turned out to be a fake tweet, and the Home Minister was quick to believe what the Lashkar-e-Toiba leader has said and he accused them of having terror links. What is the credibility of the Home Minister then? Secondly, there was photo-shopping of a photo of Kanhaiya Kumar with the background of a divided map of India. That was also photoshopped. There was a morphed video. Have you got any answers? Can you tell us who conspired to fabricate such a video? Who are the beneficiaries of that video? On the basis of a morphed video, you are putting a promising student leader and an elected President of the Students Union behind the bars. There was again another fabrication. The National Human Rights Commission told us that a statement was fabricated — the Police forced Kanhaiya Kumar to make a statement. So, there were these four instances of fabrication of evidences in a single week. Now, you are accusing all students as anti-nationals. … (Interruptions) I can give you a lot of such instances. … (Interruptions)

Intervention by SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU (Interruptions)

SHRI M.B. RAJESH (PALAKKAD): I am talking about JNU.

Intervention by SHRI M. VENKAIAH NAIDU

SHRI M.B. RAJESH (PALAKKAD): I am happy that the hon. Minister, Shri Venkaiah Naidu, has clarified the position, but he should advise his own MLAs and leaders on this. What did your Rajasthan MLA say? I do want to quote him: “जब छात्र आपका विरोध कर रहे हैं, आप निरोध की बात कर रहे हैं.” One of your National Secretaries wanted one Member of Parliament to shoot his daughter because she is an anti-national. So, please advise your own leaders, your own MLAs and MPs on this. Madam, I am coming to the last aspect. Now, we are also being targeted or branded as anti-nationals. Now, you are creating a divide between ‘nationals’ and ‘anti-nationals’, or ‘nationalists’ or ‘anti-nationalists’. We are thankful for giving us an opportunity to expose you. Who are anti-nationals? I would like to say that we would rather allow our bodies to be cut into pieces than allowing the country to be cut into pieces. We have bravely fought throughout these years in Kashmir, in Assam, in Punjab. We have fought the extremists and terrorists in Kashmir. Many of our comrades have become martyrs. Hundreds of our comrades have become martyrs fighting extremists in Punjab. … (Interruptions) This is an important and emotional issue. Many of our comrades have become martyrs fighting Khalistan extremists in Punjab, in Assam. We have got a glorious history of freedom struggle. Harkishan Singh Surjeet, the legendary communist leader, at the age of 16 years, braving the bullets of British, hoisted the National Flag, the Tricolour in Hoshiarpur Collectorate. The British Government had put a prize of Rs. 50,000 on the head of Shri EMS Namboodaripad during the freedom struggle. Shri A.K. Gopalan was the first Leader of Opposition. He was still in jail when the country attained Independence on 15th August, 1947. That is the legacy of the Left; that is the legacy of the Communists. Our legacy is that of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Chandrashekhar Azad, Vyas Guru and Kishori Lal were with us. … (Interruptions)

What is your tradition? I do not want to create any problems here. … (Interruptions)

(Disclaimer: This is the uncorrected verbatim version of the speech)