HYDERABAD: After addressing a gathering in Hyderabad and on his way to Kerala, Kanhaiya spoke exclusively to Express on caste oppression, democracy and his aspirations
Why did the JNU administration revoke the cancellation of your registration for the next semester?
The students protested against the cancellation and took the matter to the court, which said when a matter is sub-judice, the administration can’t take any decision on cancellation of admission.
You had promised to campaign for CPM in West Bengal polls and for CPI (ML) in Bihar polls. Why did you backtrack on that?
Politics is inside us. I am more interested in student politics. I am a student leader and want to complete my PhD and become a professor. I have no aspirations for becoming a leader in electoral politics and have never thought of joining any party. We are calling for alternate politics which can only save our country from fascist forces.
You are a Bhumihar (a landed upper caste of Bihar). Still you claim to fight for the Dalits. Don’t you face a dilemma and a question of absence of empirical knowledge of caste discrimination?
Dr B R Ambedkar also spoke for women despite not being a woman. A Dalit has to fight for a Muslim and a Muslim has to fight for an Adivasi.
Only then we can fight the double crisis of Brahminism coupled with Capitalism. All the poor and socially oppressed needs to be united. People are being beaten up for skinning a dead animal (Una Dalits incident). All oppressed forces need to forge unity.
So you mean to say that without ignoring the caste question, class oppression should also be addressed?
Not only me, even Babasaheb Ambedkar said this.
But it has been seen that Left forces appropriate the question of caste in the name of class, as is seen in West Bengal.
I believe in social transformation for which education and employment have to be focused on.
Does you family support your cause and does the Bhumihar society cause trouble to your family for speaking up for Dalits?
Not all Bhumihars are landed. I am from a poor family. This is not the age of feudalism but of neo-liberalism and there is a structural difference between the two. Sahajananda Saraswati led a movement for land rights for landless Bhumihars.
If you speak of lack of empirical evidence of oppression, there are two types of observation -- one from inside and one from the outside. Hindi travel writer Rahul Sanskrityayan, who is a Bhumihar, stayed with Dalits and felt the discrimination they go through. Abraham Lincoln being a white spoke for blacks.