Referring to the university investigation report of the controversial February 9 event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, Kanhaiya, who has been attacking Irani for her reference to all students as her children, said in the letter, “we are trying hard to study in the warmth of your motherly love. Under your reign, we are learning how to study despite police canes and hunger”.
In an open letter with sarcastic overtones, the 29-year-old researcher referred to Irani as “anti-rational” mother of “anti-nationals” and extended her Mother’s Day wishes on behalf of students.
“Today a friend sent asked me how under Mr Modi’s regime–where besides our own mother, we also have Mother Cow, Mother India, Mother Ganges and Mother Smriti–how could Rohith Vemula die. I am asking you this because I have no answer. The same anti-national friend also said that Mother Smriti’s ministry sent several letters to punish Rohith and was also responsible for withholding his fellowship for seven months,” he said in the letter.
“In a great country like India, can a mother force drive her child to suicide? Can a mother accept punishments on her children based on doctored videos and a biased probe? Your children, starving for 11 days, are asking you this question. Please reply, if you find the time. The friend also called you an ‘anti-rational mother of anti-nationals’. I hope you will prove this allegation false in your factual reply,” he added.
Meanwhile, the indefinite hunger strike by JNU students in protest against the punishments awarded by university in connection with the Afzal Guru event, entered 11th day today. Kanhaiya had withdrawn from the fast last week after his health deteriorated and he had to undergo treatment for dehydration and ketosis at AIIMS. So far, six students have withdrawn from the strike while 14 others are still continuing with their fast.
In celebration of Mother’s Day at JNU, various mothers residing on campus and outsiders including an 80-year-old wheel chair bound woman, joined the fasting students by going on a one day hunger strike in solidarity.
ABVP member Saurabh Sharma, who was complainant of the February 9 event and has been slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000 for blocking traffic, started a donation campaign today to pay his penalty.
“I have been penalised for protecting ‘Bharat Mata’ and standing up against the anti-nationals. So on mother’s day, we have started a campaign in support of protecting the dignity of mother India. I am requesting people to donate one rupee in my paytm account,” Saurabh, who is lone ABVP member in JNU students body said in a statement.
Saurabh along with four members of ABVP, who had also gone on hunger strike last week, called off their stir on Wednesday claiming they have got an assurance from the JNU administration that their demands will be considered.
The JNU administration had appealed the students and teachers to not invite outsiders saying it might vitiate the academic atmosphere and peace on campus. The administration also asked the students to refrain from using “direct or indirect coercive measures and come forward for dialogue and discussion”.
Terming the hunger strike to be an “unlawful activity” JNU VC Jagadesh Kumar had also appealed the students last week to put forward their demands using “constitutional” means and asked them to come for a “dialogue” to resolve the matter.
Two other students –Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya — were arrested along with Kanhaiya in the sedition case. While Kanhaiya has been slapped with a penalty of Rs 10,000, Umar, Anirban and a Kashmiri student, Mujeeb Gatoo have been rusticated for varying durations.