Saturday, January 29, 2022

Kolkata Literary Festival: Cannot separate students from politics, says Kanhaiya Kumar

At several times during his speech, Kumar was interrupted by several student activists with slogans. They accused him of association with the company that sponsored the talk.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
January 29, 2017 5:03:04 am
kanhaiya kumar, kolkata literary festival, students politics, students, JNU student kanhaiya kumar, kolkata news, indian express news Kanhaiya (right) and organisers try to calm protesters. (Source: PTI photo)

Former Jawaharlal Nehru University students union chief Kanhaiya Kumar on Saturday stressed on the importance of students movement in the history of the country and said it is impossible to separate politics from educational institutions. “When I am asked if I am a student or a politician – I consider this a dangerous question. How can you separate the two. Will you ask a married man whether he is his mother’s son more or his wife’s husband? We are bound to do politics for our own betterment and the betterment of society. If you go to a polling booth and cast your vote, which is your right, then that is also political. If you say you are apolitical, then that is the biggest political statement of all,’’ said Kumar at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Festival at the Rabindra Sarobar lake gardens.

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“Even history, for the first widow remarriage, it was a student who came forward. Students played an important part in the ban of Sati and it was largely the student community which opposed Indira Gandhi, even though JP was the face of the movement,’’he said. He went on to slam the BJP-led central government accusing it of cutting the budget for education by 25 per cent.

“They want to restrict our knowledge gathering to just skill gathering. So everyone should just clear their class X. This is exactly the same thought process as the British who did not want us to be educationlaists and scientists,” he said.

At several times during his speech, Kumar was interrupted by several student activists with slogans. They accused him of association with the company that sponsored the talk.

“Do you know about Singur Kanhaiya?”, “Tatas are responsible for the death of 12 adivasis. Do you not care about the adivasis? Do they not fall under your politics?’’ were a few questions that certain people in the audience raised as he was speaking. The organisers were forced to wind-up the programme before the question-answer session.

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