Mumbai, February 17: Opinions are divided on whether sedition (IPC section 124A) charges can be applied to Kanhaiya Kumar, who was arrested by Delhi Police following an order from Ministry of Home Affairs on February 12 for his speech inside the campus on February 9. The video that is available on the social media doesn’t show him as Anti-national”, but Delhi Police say they have the evidence to back their claim.
Now, going into details about the JNU student, who is in his late twenties happens to be the president of its students’ wing and a member of AISF — students wing of CPI — there are nothing sensational about his upbringing and early life. He was born and brought up in Bihar’s Begusarai district and his father — Jaishankar Singh — is paralysed and bed-ridden for few years and his mother Meena Devi is an Anganwadi worker. He is elder brother works in a private firm in Bihar. (Also Read: JNU Row: What exactly is sedition and how BJP is ‘Mis’-using it, explains Jurist Fali S Nariman)
The village, which Kumar lives in is a massive one and has four Panchayats. The entire village is a bastion of Leftists. According to information received here, he studied in RKC High School in Barauni in Bihar before landing in College of Commerce in Patna, where he was first introduced to students’ politics. He completed his BA from Magadh University.
Some 14 years ago, Kumar joined AISF and within a year he was chosen as the delegate for AISF in a conference in the Bihar capital. Being a social person, he was also associated with the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) during his stay in the village while pursuing his studies.
Being well-versed and thanks to his debating skills, he climbed the ladder in students politics taking part in the inter-college debate and discussions on a regular basis. Back in 2007, he represented the Bihar students’ delegation for a debate competition organised by the National Service Scheme (NSS), a wing of the central government. He landed in JNU for Phd in African studies from School of International Studies after completing his post graduation from Bihar. It was only last September when Kumar achieved the distinction of being the first AISF member to become the president of JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU). (Also Read: JNU sedition row: International scholars including Noam Chomsky condemn BJP government crackdown on students)
However, the family Kumar hails from couldn’t be contacted, but people in the know said that the family is keeping a close eye on television after they heard the news of Kumar being arrested on sedition charges by the Delhi Police on February 12. It is learnt that the family and well wishers are absolutely not ready to believe that he is aligned to any terrorist group and feel that he has been falsely implicated.
Hailing from a modest background, Kumar didn’t have powerful connections, but the entire episode after his arrest showed how much support he has from the politicos as well as the citizens of this country. Even the media is divided in opinion on whether he was at fault on February 9 evening when the call for jihaad got louder in the JNU campus. (Also Read: JNU row: Jadavpur University march puts TMC and Mamata Banerjee in quandary)
The video grab doesn’t suggest that he chanted ‘Anti-India’ slogans, but he certainly raised his voice against the RSS and the NDA government and the intolerance debate that currently hold the centre stage. This certainly has raised the eyebrows of ‘Ultra-Nationalists’ who see Kumar with the eyes of being a traitor and threat to nation and to Hindus, precisely.