Belgium: In Solidarity With JNU

Antwerp JNU
A demonstration was organized in Antwerp on 4th March in solidarity with the protesting students of JNU and the jailed student activist leaders in India. People from multiple ethnicities and backgrounds, from Indians, Pakistanis, Kashmiris, Sri Lankans to Belgians, demonstrated against repression of students and their democratic voices by the right-wing BJP-led government in India. The comrades participated in the protest in spite of heavy rains in Belgium. The protest was supported by LSP, Tamil Solidarity, and progressive Kashmiris.
 

The repression of students in JNU by the communal forces of the BJP-RSS is a continuation of the BJP-RSS attack on secular, progressive and democratic elements in the country. The jailing of JNU students was preceded just weeks earlier by the murder by suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula by the HCU administration at the behest of the HRD ministry. The past 20 months of the BJP government has seen protests from people all over India – farmers (against land ordinance bill and continuing agrarian crisis), workers (against neoliberal policies), students (against cuts in education and crushing of dissent), and secular forces (against communal attacks).

 

On the pretext of a 10-member meeting organized by students on the judicial killing of Kashmiri Afzal Guru in 2013, and the basis of what later turned out to be a doctored video, the government unleashed police forces on JNU to arrest students Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khaled and others, terming them as anti-nationals. Right-wing goons beat Kanhaiya Kumar in court premises while the police was watching, in front of national media. The incident has  backfired for the ruling establishment with a huge oupouring of support for students in across India and abroad.

 
The protesters demanded for:
 
  • No to the persecution of the students of JNU in general, student leaders Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and others in particular! No to the rise of right-wing hate crimes against India’s oppressed castes! No to violence against Indians who are not Hindu! No to the attacks on democratic rights in India!
  • For the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people and all oppressed nationalities!
  • For unity of workers and oppressed, women and men, irrespective of origin and religious background. Together we are stronger against all forms of oppression!

Vinay Chandra

 

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