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Kanhaiya supports Irom Sharmila movement against AFSPA

by IT Web Admin
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Left wing student activist Kanhaiya Kumar, while showing solidarity with civil activist Irom Sharmila Chanu’s unrelenting campaign against the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), has categorically said that the act should go from a democratic country like India.
Notably the Sharmila Scholarship Award  for the current year has been conferred to Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) of which Kanhaiya is the president.
“Posters of Irom Sharmila’s movement are easily available in JNU campus. Many of the organisations except for some opposes AFSPA,” Kanhaiya told a delegation of the All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU) at JNU complex on Saturday in an exclusive interview. Below is the full text of the interview with the maverick student leader of JNU with the AMWJU team comprising its President, Wangkhemcha Shamjai, Manipur Press Club Secretary K. Sarojkumar Sharma and executive member, Sunzu BM
AMWJU : What is the  JNU protest/movement all about?
Kanhaiya: We’re doing movement to save democracy in this nation. Because there are serious attacks on our democratic and fundamental rights. These attacks directly amount to an attack on our constitution. We’re demanding to stop the attack on the autonomy of Universities, scrap sedition as a law and remove the charges on sedition slapped on all students. For this we’re doing a movement in the name stand with JNU. But there is a large question. We’re seeking not only to save JNU. This is a larger movement. This movement is directly connected with ‘Justice-for-Rohit-Vemula’. We’re not talking only about. I think all universities, all higher educational institutions, in fact the entire education section is under threat. We’re fighting for ‘education for all’ and to save democracy. This is the brief notes of our movement.
AMWJU: Apparently JNU is being targeted. Why do you think this is?
Kanhaiya: The government is not only targeting JNU. There is a series of attacks on different institutions. It started from FTII to Ambedkar Pariyal Study Centre in Chennai, to Hyderbad Central University. Then JNU, then Alighar Muslim University and now Allahabad Central University is under attack. So this is not the question of only JNU. There is a series of attacks by the government, by the MHRD Minister in the internal affairs of the University system. So I think it is largely an attack on the autonomy of Universities of this country.
AMWJU: JNU students have been awarded by the Sharmila Fellowship Committee of JNU and Irom Sharmila has also expressed solidarity with you and the JNU movement…
Kanhaiya: Yes, yes, Actually, this has been the character of JNU. This is the legacy of JNU.  The JNU campus is full of support posters for Sharmila’s movement. Principally, most organizations except a few, oppose the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, AFSPA. In fact, there is a unity between different kinds of movement which is happening in this country.   JNU student have been given the Sharmila Fellowship, we welcome this.
AMWJU: Have you demonstrated your solidarity in Sharmila?
Kanhaiya: JNU had done some programmes in support of Sharmila and against AFSPA. Usually we do solidarity meetings, March and sometimes movie screenings. That type of movement we do. When she came to Delhi, we participated in her demonstrations. Unfortunately I’ve not personally met her.
AMWJU: Some of the media have painted the JNU at anti-national…
Kanhaiya: Yes, this is a highly condemnable act of some notorious media houses. This word is highly irrelevant now. What is anti-national? There is a charge of sedition on us students but sedition is not anti-national. There is difference between sedition and anti-national. Actually this is a political move of RSS and BJP to malign institution like JNU, to curb the movements taking place in all universities in the country and JNU is coordinating or to some extend leading the protest. That’s why they are trying to suppress the entire institution.
AMWJU: Post the recent JNU incident and the tag of anti-national, the students particularly the ones of northeast are harbouring fear psychosis while going out of campus. What have to say to these
students to allay the fear?
Kanhaiya: You see, there is no alternative to struggle. If there is suppression, we have got to fight it out. There is popular slogan in JNU, ’operation is your privilege, protest is our right’. So we will
AMWJU: Your appeal to northeast and particularly students of Manipur?
Kanhaiya: I want to ask one thing precisely to the citizens in the northeast. There are some perceptions; some racial profiling by the ‘mainland India’ but JNU always confront that kind of idea. We always stand against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. We always stand for the human rights, fundamental rights of the common masses. So please join our movement, save JNU, save the nation.

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