‘Growth of India’s Youth has Gone Backward than Forward’ – AISF Leader Dr Kanhaiya Kumar
- ‘Growth of India’s Youth has Gone Backward than Forward’ – All India Students’ Federation ISF Leader Dr Kanhaiya Kumar, during the two-day B.V. Kakkilaya centenary programme held at Bishop Jatthana Auditorium (KACES), Balmatta-Mangaluru on Saturday, 10 August 2019, in memory of the late freedom fighter and the Communist Party of India leader (B.V. Kakkilaya)
Mangaluru: A bright young man from a poor family, who had no interest in science or mathematics, was compelled by an omnipresent elite influence to invest the best years of his life in higher education in the luxury streams of humanities. He first graduated in geography and devoted his twenties to a doctorate at Jawaharlal Nehru University, which often serves as the refuge of arts students who want to escape adult life.
What Nehruvians call an aspiration of the poor is in reality co-option by the rich. The poor, especially the smart, are always co-opted into systems where the rich hold all the cards. That is how the rich win. It is cruel that Kanhaiya’s thesis must be the title. Sources reveal that Kanhaiya Kumar had once said that PM Narendra Modi was an “incompetent” son. It is possible that Kanhaiya’s mother does not think that of her own son, though his protracted education did not alter the fact that she was and still is a poor woman.
Instead, today Kanhaiya Kumar is a man who has some sway over millions of poor Indians. He says humane things in Hindi, a language that has, in recent times, become a medium of facile aggression and hatred. And he says it all like a stand-up comedian. He is a comedian who is not called a comedian, a writer who is not considered a writer, a theatre actor who is not known as an actor. People underestimate how powerful it is to be what the world does not think you are. He is also a politician who is not fully identified as a politician. All this happened because he surrendered to co-option by old elites in the humanities.
And this young man was Dr Kanhaiya Kumar was in Mangaluru as a keynote speaker during the two-day B.V. Kakkilaya centenary programme held at Bishop Jatthana Auditorium (KACES), Balmatta-Mangaluru on Saturday, 10 August 2019, in memory of the late freedom fighter and the Communist Party of India leader (B.V. Kakkilaya). Com Ms Amargeet Kaur, the General Secretary of All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), after inaugurating the programme, spoke on the ‘Role of the Working Class Movement in India’s Freedom Struggle and Nation Building.’
Then followed the moment of the day, where everyone was waiting to hear Dr Kanhaiya Kumar address them, on the topic “Indian Youth at Cross Roads”. Under heavy security provided by the cops, and with doors of the hall closed/locked, Dr Kumar proceeded with his speech- and within few minutes after he started his talk, a bunch of ABVP, HJV and SRS members who were trying to protest during the talk, were spotted by the cops and quickly whisked away from the venue in police van and jeep. Speaking further Dr Kumar said, ” Most of us who were not dealt a good hand in our lives devoted our twenties to finding ways to prosper. We stood in queues in post offices to send money to our mothers, and one day we wondrously wired the same. Yes, I was in African Studies, and I was immersed in student politics, where the relationship with real life is that of tennis-ball cricket to a test-match”.
“But I succeeded? If it were not for the long asylum of JNU and its student politics, where I was elected president of the students union, I may have become a nameless underpaid journalist who is co-opted by activism, which is journalism at a 50% discount. And what is so great about becoming a call-center employee or another kind of a corporate slave? But then, the accident of my success, the accident of a foolish move by the Modi government that converted me into a martyr and brought national attention to his exquisite oratorial skills, masks a bleak truth. There are hundreds of thousands of smart young men like me who are co-opted into systems that limit our lives or even deeply harm us,” added Kumar.
“Looking at the lives of the present youth in India- their growth is going backwards than going forwards. I wanted to pursue my career in engineering, but changed my mind, deciding to step into politics, which I feel was the right to do. My parents never thought that I would be a politician. I was saved by politics—real politics. That is what is common between me and my arch-enemy, Narendra Modi. Both of us were poor men who would have amounted to nothing if it were not for politics. India is rigged in such a way that apart from sports, the only sphere where the talented poor can do well is mass politics. Sadly, today’s Indian Youth are victims of misinformation, propaganda and undemocratic behaviour. Today’s youth are destabilized by politicians”, said Dr Kumar.
Dr Kumar further said, “Look what Haryana CM said, that youth from Haryana can now find their dream partner in Kashmir; and Bihar Deputy CM had said that Bihari youth can now get good jobs in Kashmir. Foolish and stupid comments- why would someone tell the citizens from Haryana to find a girl in Kashmir, as if they can’t find a suitable match in Haryana. Also instead of providing jobs for the Bihari youth, the Deputy CM is telling them to find jobs in Kashmir. Is this how the youth of this country are taken care of? The democratic power of the youth here has been destabilized by the politicians”.
“Youth should not be hopeless, you need to face challenges, overcome hurdles, raise your democratic voice. There is hope in this country, but you need to be patient. Just like it is raining outside, it won’t rain forever, eventually, it will stop. Similarly, if there are problems they won’t last forever, they will go away. Youth need to return to their historical background, follow their culture and traditions, and not too much imbibing Western culture. Sadly India has been invaded by Western trend and culture, and our youth are exploited towards-We need to put a stop. Religion is also playing a role in the life of youth, where they are facing hurdles such as putting preference between job and religion, life and religious pride. And it is here that decision making by youth fail. This is where youth fail to decide. And because of this religious symbolism and communal politics has invaded our country, resulting in the downfall of the economy”, said Dr Kanhaiya.
“It’s time that we convince and motivate the youth to step into a democratic party and try to train them in a democratic way. Even though that any Government may come and go, but all those netas who confuse you and mesmerize you by saying ‘Bhai’ or ‘Beheno’, don’t give any heed towards it, instead remember one thing for sure that democracy existed long back, and will exist in future too and will remain forever. India’s youth are ready to listen and understand, so never try to criticize them-instead build good communication and solve any problems they face. Youth should not fall in the hands of perception politics, instead, know the reality. Finally, all I have to say is that I don’t intend or fight to be a politician. It was a pleasure to be here in Mangaluru, to address a houseful hall. You are all great people, and let us look forward to living a democratic country, rather than someone telling us what to do and what not to do” said Dr Kanhaiya Kumar.
The session was followed by interaction where quite a number of people from the audience posed queries at Dr Kumar and Com. Kaur, and they gave back suitable answers. This was followed by a talk on ‘National Democratic Revolution’ by thinker Kalale Parthasarathy. Dinesh Ameen Mattu, journalist also spoke. Writer and thinker Anand Teltumbe on topic ‘struggles of the oppressed, theory and practice’. The programme on Sunday will begin with a talk on ‘B. V. Kakkilaya, from Malabar to Karnataka Assembly’ by CPI leader Siddanagouda Patil. It will be followed by a talk on ‘land reforms in Karnataka, past, present and future’ by Muzaffar Assadi, writer and thinker. Kagodu Thimmappa, former Minister, will preside over this session.
Later, T.S. Venugopal, Vijay Poonacha Thambanda, Kalale Parthasarathy, and G. Ramakrishna will participate in a discussion on ‘writings on philosophy, history and economics in Kannada’. The last session will be on ‘beyond caste and beyond gender’ in which T.M. Krishna and Noor Zaheer will participate. Later Krishna will present a carnatic vocal concert from 7 p.m. The programme is jointly organized by Samadarshi Vedike, M S Krishnan Memorial Trust, Hosathu monthly and Navakarnataka Publications.