Hyderabad: In a fresh salvo at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday alleged that the former is trying to crush the spirit of Indian youngsters by imposing one idea from on top.
Gandhi, who sat on fast along with the protesting students at the Hyderabad Central University, said, “My main opposition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the RSS is that they are trying to crush the spirit of Indian youngsters by imposing one idea from on top. Please speak about your idea, talk about your idea, put the ideas in the market place of ideas and if all the students accept your (Modi) idea, then I am fine with it.”
“Do not force your idea on the students. Give them the dignity and the respect, their intelligence. These are not stupid youngsters and not foolish people. They have enough understanding of the world and they don’t need anybody, even me to tell them what to do,” he added.
Gandhi further asked Prime Minister Modi to unleash the power of youth if he wants the nation to progress.
“Narendra Modi ji, if you want India to progress you have to unleash the power of youth. If they are feeling discriminated in the colleges and universities, you will not be able to unleash the power of these students,” he said.
Addressing protesting students at the university, he said, “When you let what has happened to Rohith happen in the country, it will happen to you one day, no matter who you are. You will one day find that the same people, who crushed Rohith, will be blocking your path to freedom, to progress.”
“Every single student must realise that most powerful thing they have is not what some powerful people tell you but what you believe in. Rohith was also an Indian youngster who was searching for truth. Nobody has right to take away the right to ‘search for the truth’, this is exactly what happened with Gandhi ji and Rohith as well,” he added.
After addressing the students, Rahul and Rohith’s mother ended their hunger strike. Activist and Professor Kancha Ilaiah offered juice to Gandhi and Rohith’s mother to end their day-long strike.
The students have been agitating after Rohith Vemula, a Dalit PhD student at the university, committed suicide by hanging himself in his room.
Rohith and five other students were suspended by the university in connection with an alleged attack on an ABVP leader.
On January 18, Gandhi had made his first visit to the university, a day after Rohith committed suicide. That day, he had promised complete support to their agitation.