Condemning the arrest of JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar in a sedition case, eminent journalist P Sainath on Friday took a "nationalism" lecture in the varsity's courtyard and advised the students to let their movement continue against "criminalisation of dissent".
Sainath, who is a JNU alumni, while addressing the students said, "always remember you are fighting criminalisation of dissent. It will get much worse before it gets better. Which way things will go will depend on how all of us handle the 'lawsuits'".
Expressing his solidarity with the students, Sainath said he "learnt on this campus, living for something beyond yourself".
"People in rural India have been facing this kind of persecution for years. For the first time you have a RSS pracharak as a PM with a majority. Now they can truly express their inner selves, but let me tell you, that you all should not 'lose the unity' with which you have risen to this latest challenge," he said in the lecture titled "life in times of fundamentalism and inequality".
Sainath was third in the series of the "nationalism" open-air lectures which are being organised at the varsity in protest of the branding of the university as "anti-national" in wake of an event against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.
Professors from various universities are taking the nationalism lectures at JNU where students are protesting against the arrest of the varsity's students' union leader Kanhaiya Kumar in a sedition case in connection with the February 9 event.