NEW DELHI: Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader KK Ragesh on Sunday slammed JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar for allegedly 'suppressing freedom of speech' saying "you are the head of this educational institute, not the Superintendent of Tihar jail."
CPI-M leaders Md Salim and KK Ragesh on Sunday visited the JNU campus to meet the students protesting over the hostel fee hike.
"I got an official mail from the registrar that I should not come here. The Vice-Chancellor and administration must understand that this is not a fascist Hindu Rashtra. This is a democratic nation," said Ragesh while addressing the students.
"Freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right and no VC can deny it. You are appointed as the VC of JNU, and not the Superintendent of Tihar Jail," added Ragesh.
The CPI-M leader lauded the students, saying here is an institution which is courageous enough to challenge the undemocratic things of the administration.
"During the Emergency, even the Prime Minister could not enter the JNU campus. This is the legacy of this university. Without saying anything, the government is implementing the Ambani-Birla recommendations in education," said he.
Ragesh also said that another recommendation of the committee is to ban student politics.
"That is why the VC is taking undemocratic steps on this campus. Our democracy is under threat. There are attempts to make this university for the elite class only. We will raise this issue in Parliament," he added.
CPI-M leader Md Salim, on the other hand, supported the painting on the walls of Admin Block of the university and said: "Never have students painted the will of their hearts on these walls".
"Attempts are being made to increase the cost of education. This is an attempt to end public-funded institutions in the country. The government doesn't want to spend money on education but wants to spend it on cow shelters," said Salim.
He also slammed the BJP-led Central government. "If the JNU wasn't there, even a few educated people in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet would not have been there," he said.
Earlier today, the administration of the university announced that it will take stringent actions against the students, who were involved in vandalism inside the campus.
JNU students have been continuing their protest against hostel fee hike for over two weeks now.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)