Karat defies BJP, says will wear ‘anti-national’ badge with honour

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New Delhi, Feb. 15 (ANI): With the JNU protests taking a political colour post Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s claim that the event had the backing of LeT chief Hafiz Sayeed, CPI (M) leader Prakash Karat on Monday questioned the Centre’s definition of nationalism and said that they would prefer to wear the ‘anti-national’ badge with honour.

The former CPI (M) general secretary, who visited the JNU campus to meet the protesting students, extended his party’s support to their cause.

“It has become a much wider issue for the society because this is not a clash of ideas between different groups of students. It is the government and the establishment directly intervening to set the agenda to change the framework of our education system and values,” Karat told the media here.

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“They were not unpatriotic by any chance. We do not accept their definition of nationalism, their version of nationalism. If they call us anti-national, we wear it with a badge of honour,” he added.

Karat further said he is visiting the varsity as a former student, adding that the situation in the JNU is worse than during the times of emergency.

The students are protesting over the arrest of JNU student’s union president Kanhaiya Kumar on the charges of sedition. Kumar was arrested after he allegedly made a speech against the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru.

The agitating students today raised slogans against the Delhi Police, asking them to leave the campus.

The CPI (M) leaders, including Sitaram Yechury, have been demanding Kumar’s release.

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Yechury has even accused the BJP of trying to carry forward the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s ideology. (ANI)

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