Hyderabad: A major effort is underway to project the 2019 elections as a fight between Hindus and Muslims but the people must ignore it as the major problems were about ‘mazdoor, kisan, yuva, Dalit, Muslim and the poor,” said student activist Dr Umar Khalid.
The PhD scholar from JNU was speaking at the Telangana state conference of the Students Islamic Organisation of India. The conference dealt with the issues of campus democracy, failure to conduct elections on campuses, how the government had failed to create jobs for youth and how lynch mobs were not only on the streets but also as anchors on TV channels.
Dr Khalid said, “The government is deliberately talking about Hindus and Muslims and not willing to address the actual problems which are faced by the nation. The diversionary tactics of the Modi government will not work. The people are aware that they are being divided to make them fight. We as people have to stress on the real problems that we continue to face, of food, jobs and poverty.”
Hitting out at media trials that he said were being carried out every day, Dr Khalid said most of the hatred was being spread through television channels. He said, “There are letters which were first given to the press and not to the court. Why are they doing this? Earlier the government tried to gain sympathy by saying that the Hindu was in danger and now they are doing the same by saying Modi is in danger.”
He asked why the government was not looking at the problem of drought in different states. “Whom are they protecting? Are they scared that the insurance companies will have a huge bill to settle the claims? Are they protecting the insurance sector,” Dr Khalid asked.
SIO leaders who spoke at the conference lamented over the attitude of the government which was terming dissent as anti-national. Mr Sohaib Ahmed, SIO secretary for Telangana state, said, “In the last four years, students are doing the job of the Opposition. Questions which are to be raised in Parliament are being addressed in universities.”
University of Hyderabad Students Union leader Sreerag Poickadan said, “Campus democracy is under seige and campus democracy can’t work without addressing problems of caste, community and religion. The elections of 2019 requires the people of India to give a fitting reply to the Narendra Modi government as the lives of the common people are being made worse than ever it has been.”...