Defend JNU to battle Hindutva, says CPI-M

New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) Denouncing the arrest of JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, the CPI-M has said that the campaign to defend the university is part of “a much wider battle against Hindutva”.

“The RSS-BJP drive to bring universities and higher educational institutions under its political-ideological domination is in full swing,” the CPI-M journal “People’s Democracy” has said.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here “has become a prime target as it stands for all that is antithetical to the RSS-Hindutva forces”, it said in an editorial.

The CPI-M said the arrest of JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, on charges of sedition, “seems to be an over the top reaction to a small group of students protesting on the anniversary of (Kashmiri terrorist) Afzal Guru’s execution.

“However, this was not bureaucratic overreaction but a deliberate political intervention by the BJP government… Portraying JNU as a den of ‘anti-national’ forces has long been the motif of RSS-BJP propaganda.”

The editorial pointed out that the JNUSU had not organised the protest meeting of February 9 where allegedly anti-national slogans were raised.

“The fact that the JNUSU president and other office-bearers were singled out for arrest, when they have nothing to do with the event, shows the intent of the central government and the BJP to target the JNU and to punish the student community as a whole for their steadfast commitment to secular democratic values and opposition to the Hindutva forces…

“The battle to defend JNU is, thus, part of the much wider battle against Hindutva authoritarianism.”

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