The world’s largest democracy is currently undergoing the most awaited 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. All the candidates having selected their respective party or independent symbols are ready with full fledged election strategies. First phase of the seven phase elections has recently been concluded, while many other constituencies are yet to undergo polling. The first election after the popular ‘Modi Wave’ of 2014 is undoubtedly going to be an exciting one. Having said that, the Ex-JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar, contesting from Bihar’s Begusarai is gathering a lot of attention from all over the country.
Kanhaiya Kumar who is from Begusarai, was the President of the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Student Union. He was pursuing his PhD from the Delhi based University. Kanhaiya with some other students was allegedly accused of raising Anti-National slogans in the JNU campus, after which he was charged with sedition and sent to Tihar jail for a brief period of time. After his return from Tihar, he gave the famous speech at JNU’s freedom square, which immediately went viral. Through this very speech, Kanhaiya became a known face throughout the country. Eventually, he became a hero for the people fighting against the anarchy of the government. In the process of proving himself innocent, he began gaining the support of the youth and soon came to be known as a ‘Youth Leader’. He is now a mass leader who has a huge number of supporters from all parts of the country.
Kanhaiya declared ₹8.50 lacs income of two years in his election affidavit ( Pdf ), also declaring himself unemployed. Kanhaiya does not have any permanent or temporary employment. In July, 2018 Kanhaiya submitted his thesis to the University. He has been awarded a PhD degree in February this year.
Kanhaiya’s Income sources
According to the Election Affidavit Kanhaiya’s yearly income in 2017-18 and 2018-19 was ₹6,30,360 and ₹2,28,290 respectively. He has an insurance policy worth ₹1,70,150 and ₹1,63,648 deposited in savings account. He has land inherited from his father worth ₹2.50 lacs with ₹24,000 in hand cash.
His income of ₹8.50 lacs majorly constitutes of the royalty he got for his book ‘Bihar To Tihar’, published by Juggernaut Books Publication. The book which was originally in Hindi has been translated in eight major languages namely Marathi, English, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannad, Telugu and Bengal. The affidavit also mentions Kanhaiya working as a freelance writer and a guest lecturer.
The fact that Kanhaiya has declared an income of ₹8.50 lacs in two years being unemployed has triggered a lot of questions from his opponents and trolls. But keeping in mind the sales of ‘Bihar To Tihar’, his appearance in various Lit-Fests, Cultural events, television debates and the royalty and honorarium he gets from all these events, the questions sound baseless.
Kanhaiya speaks about hunger, unemployment and various other issues concerning the common man with brilliant analytical and oratory skills. He speaks about the basic problems faced by people from different stratas of their society irrespective of thier caste, creed, etc. He questions the establishment and upholds the values of the constitution. Kanhaiya idolizes BhagatSingh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Shahu Maharaj, Mahatma Phule, Ambedkar, Birsa and Savitribai which is quiet evident through his “Azadi” song.
When asked about Kanhaiya’s income, the Former General Secretary of All India Students’ Federation(AISF), and Kanhaiya’s present Campaign Incharge, Vishwajeet Kumar said, “We stick to the truth and truth can never be hidden and today it is in front of the people. Kanhaiya, who once had to struggle for bread in Delhi, is today a national leader due to the oppression by the Modi government. And the people of India have even provided financial help to him and his family.”
Kanhaiya is contesting on Communist Party of India(CPI)’s ticket. The common people of India have crowd funded him with about ₹70,00,000. Lacs of supporters accompanied Kanhaiya in his historical nomination rally. People not only from India but also outside the country are connected with Kanhaiya through various mediums. Indian democracy being on the target of Fascists, a leader like Kanhaiya has increased the hopes of not only the youth but all the common people in general.
Originally translated from Marathi by Talha Shaikh
Read Marathi Version : बहुचर्चित लोकसभा उमेदवार कन्हैया कुमार यांच्या उत्पन्नाची साधने…
Aishwarya Chunade is a Sub-Editor of Students’Action. She’s an activist associated with All India Students’ Federation (AISF). She is also a student of department of mass communication and journalism at University of Mumbai. A writer, anchor, debater, she can be reached at email@example.com