Historian Ramachandra Guha turned up at the student protest organised in Bengaluru condemning the violence that broke out in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Sunday. He was detained by Bengaluru police on December 20 while protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Ramachandra Guha stood in solidarity alongside students who protested for 24 hours from 6 pm on Tuesday evening to 6 pm on Wednesday. The students were opposed to the CAA, NRC and violence in campuses across India.
"I would like to urge to students the importance of non-violence. We are against the authoritarianism of the right - Savarkars and Golwalkars. But if we are true to the heritage of Gandhi and Ambedkar, we must also be opposed to the authoritarianism of the left - Naxalites and worshippers of Mao and Stalin," Ramachandra said.
He urged students to refrain from using abusive language in responding to adversaries.
"Speak out against the discrimination that the CAA and NRC represents. But don't use rhetorical abusive language and don't display inflammatory posters," he said.
He reiterated that Gandhi and Ambedkar were united on several issues including the harmony of Hindus and Muslims. "Gandhi and Ambedkar had their differences but they were united on several things. One was an absolute commitment to ending untouchability and to women equality. They were both committed to maintaining Hindu-Muslim harmony," he added.
The historian spoke alongside students and activists who raised slogans and sang songs criticising the ruling government.
The protest had started at 6 pm on Tuesday with around 50 people. But by midnight hundreds of people gathered to show solidarity with the students and faculty members injured in the assault that took place in the JNU campus on Sunday.
The protesters began the day on Wednesday by reading the Preamble of the Constitution at 7 am and continued the sit-in protest throughout the day until they were dispersed by the police at 6 pm. The protest was planned by a collective of students along the lines of the protests held at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi and Gateway of India in Mumbai.