JNU Alumni, BJP Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Speaks Out

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File picture of Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman delivering the inaugural address at the Start Up India StatesÂ’ conference, in New Delhi on July 23, 2016.(PIB Photo)

Whether you are from Congress or BJP, a JNU alumni speaks out from heart and not from position once inside the red brick walls of JNU in New Delhi. So did Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on an NDTV program held inside JNU interacting with students.

While a Congress supporting JNU student asked her repeated questions raising the West Bengal BJP unit’s example of depositing high value currency stacks in banks on the same day few hours before they were banned, she retorted saying coincidences cannot be evidence for the students of a research-centric JNU.

In her open-hearted reply she said had the truth been known before, many other BJP units would have deposited “tons” of their funds in the banks. What would have slipped her mind was the fact that she was indirectly acknowledging that BJP units too had tons of such notes.

Otherwise, an outspoken person as she was always both in JNU and now outside JNU, Nirmala Sitharaman recollected her days when in 1983 she too went to Tihar jail. She said the disappearance of JNU student Najeeb for over 38 days is not forgotten denying allegations that no action was taken. “The action will be visible only when he is found and returned to JNU,” she said.

To recollect, the 1983 incident relates to the incident in Jhelum hostel where a student was asked to vacate and his room was locked by the administration after a spat with the warden. The JNUSU under then President NR Mohanty broke the locks opened and later gheraoed the then Vice Chancellor in his quarters in the campus and Nirmala Sitharaman as Free Thinkers’ leader was one among the group.

It led to the Delhi Police entry into the campus to free the vice chancellor and students voluntarily got themselves arrested to fill the police vans en route to Tihar. Notorious was the incident that many of those who volunteered later tried to come our of the jail alongwith the visiting JNU friends to be dubbed one of the astonishing jail breaks in Tihar.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken huge risk in demonetisation, it is natural that the ministers would keep monetising the move to unearth black money that may bring out almost 80% of the country’s population within the ambit of the structured economy.

While the move is supported in every corner of the country, the flip flops in rationing the cash withdrawals is one serious issue the government is still grappling with. Once the tide is over and queues are back to normal before the banks, the real calculation of the risk versus rewards will begin.

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