An uncle and brother of JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is in jail in connection with a sedition case, have said the kind of support students and global intellectuals have shown for him makes them proud of the Bihar boy.
"I never knew so many people liked Kanhaiya and he inspired people so much. Though he is in jail today, we are proud of him.
"For any boy from our village going to JNU is an impossible task and Kanhaiya making it there and garnering support not only from his friends but intellectuals across the globe has made us optimistic," Kanhaiya's uncle Rajendra Singh said while addressing students at the varsity last night.
Slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh said, "Our ancestors were part of the freedom struggle, people from our village had confronted the Britishers and a boy from same village is being called a terrorist for raising his voice.
Modiji called himself a 'chai wala' and now he is not saying anything when a farmer's son is being targeted."
Kanhaiya's uncle and brother, who are in Delhi to meet him in Tihar jail, visited the varsity's administration block last night where students are agitating against the student leader's arrest over an on-campus event against parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's hanging.
They encouraged the students to continue with their struggle, asserting the fight is not just for JNU but for the entire nation.
"This is a struggle for ideology. One Kanhaiya going to jail during this fight is no big deal. The way you people have taken up the battle demanding freedom of speech and from poverty, is a difficult route. You need to show courage and keep fighting," Singh said in his address.
When we went to meet him in jail he calmly said I am walking on the way shown to me by you and I will fight my way out, Singh told the students.
Kanhaiya, who hails from Bihar's Begusarai district and is pursuing PhD at JNU, was arrested on sedition charges in connection with the February 9 event.
His brother Manikant Kumar asked the students to not give in to the tactics of police or the administration saying, "you can be suppressed for a while by their cheap strategies but rest assured you all will not be defeated".