Hyderabad: Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS of trying to crush the spirit of students by imposing "one idea from the top", Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday likened the Rohith Vemula suicide case with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
The Congress Vice President, at the end of his nearly nine-hour fast in solidarity with agitating students of Hyderabad Central University, also advocated that a law be enacted to end massive discrimination in our universities.
"My main opposition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS is that they are trying to crush the spirit of Indian students and youngsters by imposing one idea from the top," Rahul said at the end of his fast.
"Please speak about your idea. Talk about your idea. Put your idea in the marketplace of idea," Rahul said as he opposed forcing of ideas on students. He said students should be given due dignity and respect as they are not "foolish and stupid".
"They do not need anybody, including me, to tell them what to do. That is the spirit for which I came here. I spent a day with you. The issue here is not about one student", he said putting his weight solidly behind the agitating students as he visited the campus for the second time in as many weeks.
Noting that today is not only Rohith's birthday, but also Gandhiji's death anniversary, he said the Father of the Nation lived his life searching for truth and understanding of the world.
"He lived like that and fought for that all his life. And he was eventually killed by very forces they did not want him to speak what the truth was aloud. It's exactly the same thing that has been done to Rohith," the Congress leader alleged.
Rahul first joined the agitating students in a candle light vigil past midnight to mark the birthday of Rohith, who would have turned 27 today. He lit a candle before the portrait of Rohith at the protest site and spent about two hours past midnight with agitating students and family of the research scholar, who committed suicide on January 17.
The Congress leader returned to the protest site in the morning to undertake the fast.
Rohith was looking for truth regardless of his community or age, Rahul said, adding, "Nobody has the right to take way your right to search for truth."
"What has happened here (HCU) is exactly what is done to Gandhiji. This bright young man was looking to understand his world...did not want him to speak aloud about what he sought. They did not want him to express the truth..the truth that he sought in this institution. There was so much passion in him".