JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar Friday asserted that Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, and not Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, was his idol.
“You ask what Afzal Guru means to me. According to the Indian Constitution, Afzal Guru was a citizen of the country. He was from Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India and he was punished under the law. The same law gives citizens the right to speak about the punishment,” Kumar said, addressing the media on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus, a day after he was freed on interim bail.
The JNUSU president had spent 20 days in jail after he was arrested on February 12 on charges of sedition for allegedly raising anti-national slogans during an event to mark Guru’s hanging.
“For me, Afzal Guru is not an icon. My icon is Rohith Vemula. Tum jitne Rohith maaroge, ghar ghar me Rohith niklega (The more Rohiths you kill, the more will emerge from every house),” said Kumar.
Rohith had committed suicide inside a hostel room at the University of Hyderabad in January this year.
Kumar also condemned the event that led to his arrest. “I condemn the February 9 event. Whether what was said that day was seditious or not, the courts will decide. We trust the Constitution and the courts. Unlike videos, the Constitution cannot be doctored,” said Kumar.