Umar Khalid, the former DSU president who had gone missing from JNU campus after the arrest of JNUSU chief Kanhaiya Kumar after the incident of 9 February, returned to the campus along with four of his fleeing companions on Sunday evening, two days after Delhi police issued a lookout notice for them. He had been accused for being the ‘mastermind’ behind the whole JNU row and having fled to Pakistan after the controversial arrest.
Here, he addressed the students of JNU on Sunday night and said “My name is Umar Khalid and I’m not a terrorist”. He said that in the last 10 days, he got to know things about him from media that he himself wasn’t aware of, like having visited Pakistan twice. While infact, he doesn’t even possess a passport. He refuted claims that he had made 800 calls to Gulf and Kashmir and challenged the accusers for bringing evidence.
This is not just a fight of 5-6 students, it is a fight of the whole university. Not just this university, but of all universities. Not just all universities, but of the whole society.
He then shamed media for its unforgivable way of reporting, saying that it would be foolish to expect apologies from media who calls adivasis as Maoists and Muslims as terrorists. Chants of “shame” filled the air at that. He said there were reporters from Zee News, and one from Times Now whom he wouldn’t name, who report as they like, but all media wouldn’t be spared. It is a matter of shame that the media doesn’t even use the term “allegedly”, it just puts up accusations as a fact. He said he had never felt or projected himself as a Muslim in his 6-7 years at the university, but in the last 10 days he had been forcibly made to feel like a Muslim. Note that Umar Khalid is an atheist and has been known for being so. The speech took a sarcastic note when he said that it’s very easy to be anti-national – you just have start ‘ thinking’ and you’ll be named as one. He shamed media for being agents or slaves of America.
Hindustan bhi mera hai, Pakistan bhi mera hai,
Par in dono mulkon pe America ka dera hai,
Aur tum America k dalal ho.
He then asked the fellow JNU students not to panic, not to be scared of voicing their opinions, for they stand united. He said that the haters may be in majority, but they are cowards, as they are scared of them. He called members ABPV as ‘darpok’. JNU students have known their responsibilities and time and again have given due respect, support or denial wherever it was required and the recent row of events couldn’t scare them. He said that they had fought for FTII, for Rohith Vermula of HU, for Sandeep of BHU, and they will keep fighting.
A university that does not allow dissent is a prison and we will defeat the opposition in their agenda of making the universities a prison.
Concluding the address, he said that we have to keep the tradition of JNU Student Union alive and will keep fighting for whatever is wrong.