Hitting out at the Centre on the JNU issue, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury questioned as to why there had been no investigation into who had doctored the tapes and raised slogans in the university last month.
The Rajya Sabha MP said that the debate on nationalism was being aggressively raised by the RSS and BJP for two reasons and is part of a larger conspiracy.
“The first reason is that the RSS wants to transform the secular and democratic republic of India into a rabidly intolerant fascist Hindu rashtra.
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The issue of nationalism is being raised aggressively to serve this purpose by those who did not even participate in India’s freedom struggle,” Yechury said.
The second reason, he added, is the mounting economic burden on the people which the government wants to deflect attention from.
These are tactics to divert the anger arising due to discontent against the government.
Yechury added that untruths are spread, rumours floated, and they no longer come from the fringe, but with the patronage of the party in power.
He said that though the situation during Emergency was different, the action against students with police entering JNU and arresting them was only seen at that time.
Yechury was one of the speakers at an event at YB Chavan Centre, called ‘Celebrating Freedom and Pluralism: In Defence of Secularism’.
“Those who are accusing others of being anti-national or anti-constitutional need to know that demanding a Hindu rashtra in a secular democratic country is against the Constitution,” said CPI leader D Raja.
He said the government needs to take serious action against those who have put up posters threatening JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar. He also said that the way in which universities are being targeted cannot be coincidental.
“First they went after the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle in IIT Madras by banning it. Then the students of Hyderabad Central University were targeted leading to the death of Rohith Vemula and now the JNU issue,” Raja added.
Hamid Dabholkar, son of slain anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar, who also spoke in one of the sessions at the event, said that they are struggling to fight for justice with no arrests made in the case so far.
In another session, human rights advocate Mihir Desai said that Section 124A for sedition must go.
“Conviction is inconsequential to the law of sedition. The real use is to scare people into silence..shouting slogans cannot be seditious, this is what the Supreme Court has said. Even if Kanhaiya has shouted the slogans that he is alleged to have, it is still not sedition,” he said.