New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to hear the bail petition of Kanhaiya…
DELHI: Delhi high court is likely to resume hearing on a bail plea of Kanhaiya on Monday, who was arrested in a sedition case for allegedly raising anti-India slogans.
The night of February 11 must have been the first time Kanhaiya’s family got any complaint about him. “He never got into fights, either in school or later. We had never heard anybody complaining that he had misbehaved or fought,” says his brother Manikant Singh.
The Patiala House Courts incident of February 17 may have been the first when Kanhaiya got beaten up. “I don’t remember him ever getting beaten up. Whenever he felt my father was angry with him, he would run away from home and return when things calmed down,” he laughed.
Manikant is waiting in the Capital for his younger brother, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union president, to be released. When he, along with their uncle Rajinder Singh, met him in Tihar jail on Thursday night, Kanhaiya just told them not to worry about him or his bail. “If I am guilty, I should be punished or I should be freed, is what he told me. Bail is not important,” he said.
Kanhaiya, who is from the CPI-affiliated AISF, has also conveyed to the party leadership that it should not worry about his bail. “He told us Comrade, I am fine. Don’t worry about my bail. I will be here till I am proved innocent,” said CPI general secretary Sudhakar Reddy, who had met him in jail.
Going down memory lane, Manikant recalled how Kanhaiya’s speeches used to be different and the best among the three brothers. He would begin with Maithli Sharan Gupt’s lines “bhara nahi Jo bhavon se, bahti jisme rasdhaar nahi, who hriday nahi hai patthar hai, jisme swadesh ka pyaar nahi hai” and then go on to his speech.
That boy, now 28, who preferred to eat “bhaat (rice)” and vegetables, who did not like Kabaddi but liked playing “daffli”, participated in plays and received an award from former CPI general secretary AB Bardhan when he was with the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA), is in Tihar’s jail number three facing sedition charges.
“My mother is not worried because she knows Kanhaiya could not have done anything wrong,” said Manikant, born into a family of Communists in Behat village of Bihar’s Begusarai.
Kanhaiya was good in studies and fine arts. “When he was just five or six, he used to sketch and paint beautifully,” he said.
When the three brothers—Manikant, Kanhaiya and Prince–were asked to remove grass from their small plot of land in the village, Kanhaiya would remove the grass and level the place neatly, artistically. “He would complete just one row in the time we would do two or three, but he would do it with such perfection that it would stand out,” Manikant said.
His paternal uncle pointed out that Kanhaiya’s cousins are in the CRPF, BSF and CISF, and one of them Dilip Singh who was in CRPF died in the North East four years ago in an attack by ultras.
The family is pained by the charges of sedition on Kanhaiya. As Manikant and his uncle got emotional while leaving Tihar, Kanhaiya held his uncle’s hand and told him “I have done nothing wrong that my family should be ashamed of. I will not stop fighting.”
He said it as calmly as when he called up his home five years ago to inform that he had joined JNU as an MPhil student. He was doing his PhD on “social transformation in South Africa.”
CPI leader and Rajya Sabha MP D Raja, who along with his wife Annie Raja, general secretary of CPI-backed National Federation of Indian Women, also met him in prison, said ‘his spirit has not sapped.’
While the JNUSU and the CPI may have laid out plans for Kanhaiya after his release, his family just said “he will decide his future course. What can we say.”