There will be a “social revolution” in the country when hunger and deprivation will unite the masses irrespective of their caste, creed or religion, Jawaharal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) leader Kanhaiya Kumar said.
Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the second consecutive day during his two-day visit to Maharashtra, Kanhaiya said the Bharatiya Janata Party was attempting to divide the country along caste and communal lines without solving core issues.
“Hunger is common to all. Where are the promised jobs, food and water for the masses? This hunger will unite the people one day and they will march on the streets,” Kanhaiya said at a rally in Pune on Sunday.
Dwelling on a wide range of issues confronting the country, the JNUSU leader posed questions about Modi government “squandering” public resources for its advertising blitzkrieg, his weekly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ and television publicity.
“First it was their own ‘Mata’ (mother), then ‘gaumata’ (cow), and now it is ‘Bharat Mata’. They want to decide what the people will eat, what festivals they will celebrate, what they can wear. Who gave you this right? ” he asked.
“Stop giving these ‘jumlas’ (false promises) to the people. They want jobs or unemployment allowance, social security, and complete abolition of caste system in the country, as B.R. Ambedkar envisioned,” Kanhaiya said.
Kanhaiya addressed a huge gathering of youths and Dalits, besides several prominent personalities at the Bal Gandharva Hall in the western city.
Among those who attended the event were Amol Palekar, Sandhya Gokhale, Prakash Ambedkar, Smita Govind Pansare, Mukta Manohar, Kiran Moghe, Bhalchandra Kango, Jitendra Awhad. Several thousands who had come to attend the event had to listen to Kanhaiya’s speech from outside the hall and the adjacent roads.
The student leader also alleged that after making top-level changes in various central universities, the National Book Trust, Indian Council of Historical Research and other organisations, the RSS-BJP will try to change India’s Constitution and convert the national tricolour into a ‘saffron’ flag in their attempts to bring in a single-religion rule in India.
“However, this will not succeed. We will not allow them to succeed in their nefarious intentions. Instead of the Constitution, we will uproot ‘Manuvad’ from India. Ours is a struggle for our rights, for equality and a progressive caste-less society,” he said.
Invoking Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin, whose 146th birth anniversary was celebrated two days ago, he proclaimed that if you kill one Rohith Vemula, many more will take birth since this was a struggle between ‘right and wrong’, the classes and the masses and deprived sections of society.
Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula had committed suicide in the University of Hyderabad after alleging caste discrimination in the institution.
Kanhaiya Kumar criticised the manner in which the educational budget in the country was drastically slashed and said access to academic courses would soon be available only to those who can afford it, the rest will be forced to remain “angutha chhap” (illiterate).
“Instead of formulating policies which can benefit the masses, the present leadership is busy changing names of various institutions or individuals heading them. Is this the reason they were elected and sent to parliament?” he asked.