New Delhi: The Left-affiliated All India Students' Association (AISA) and Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA) will launch a national campaign, 'Utho Mere Desh-Naye Bharat Ke Wastey, Bhagat Singh - Ambedkar Ke Rastey' tomorrow.
Dipankar Bhattacharya, general secretary, CPI-ML, Amit Sengupta, journalist, Ram Karan Nirmal and Amarendra Arya (ex-students of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, who protested against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their convocation), and Ashutosh, ex-JNUSU president, were among those present when the campaign was announced.
Beginning tomorrow, it will continue till April 14, they said.
"After emergency, this is a dangerous period and the nation is facing a battle between fascism and democracy," poet Gauhar Raza said at the press conference.
Targeting the media, the poet said the most serious danger for a democracy was when the media acts against intellectuals and the common man.
"Democracy was achieved after a prolonged struggle. Elsewhere, democracy came as a commercial break, but it has been sustained in our country. Even today, we don't see that sort of oppression of intellectuals like in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh, but the difference is that the media there stands with the people and does not act as a tool of the establishment," he added.
Claiming that Rohith Vemula was driven to commit suicide by a conspiracy against Dalits, Dalit activist Karamsheel Bharti said, "Today humanity is under threat. The media never takes our (Dalits') issues seriously. This is a conspiracy against Dalits."
They campaign will be taken across the country and participants will "expose" the present government and its anti-Dalit and anti-student policies, they said.
The activists demanded that the sedition charges against JNU students be dropped and also sought the scrapping of the sedition laws, enactment of a Rohith Act to end caste discrimination in educational institutions and resignation of HRD minister Smriti Irani.