04/03/2016 4:25 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Venkaiah Naidu Reminded Of His Student Union Past After His 'Stick To Studies' Sermon

HuffPost India

A day after an intensely political and fiery speech by student leader Kanhaiya Kumar riled many from the government, Parliamentary Affairs minister on Venkaiah Naidu on Friday advised people studying "in universities funded by centre" to "study and not indulge in politics".

Naidu has every reason to be annoyed with Kumar. The Jawaharlal Nehru student union leader targeted sharp barbs at the government, calling it "anti-people", and accused it of suppressing its critics. "If you will speak against them, its cyber cell would come out with doctored video and charge you with sedition," he said.

ALSO READ: Here's Kanhaiya Kumar's Fiery Speech At JNU That Has Gripped The Nation

Naidu took on Kumar, saying the 29-year-old "is getting free publicity and is enjoying it". The Parliamentary Affairs Minister also reasoned that since he is studying "at a central university, where public money, people's money is involved", they must refrain from politics.

Kumar was accused of raising anti-national slogans and slapped with charges of sedition. He was granted interim bail by the Delhi High Court on Thursday, following which he went straight to where it all started, JNU, and gave a rousing speech to thunderous applause from his peers and praise on social media.

Naidu said if the students who held political events at colleges were interested in politics, they should "leave studies and join politics". His logic would imply that the pursuit of a higher education was not unnecessary in joining politics, that writer George Bernard Shaw once said was "the last resort of scoundrels".

However, Twitter users were quick to point out to Naidu that he himself was a student leader once. BJP, the party to which Naidu belongs, also has an active youth wing.

Naidu started his career in politics as a student leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in 1973 after being elected as the president of the students union of Andhra University Colleges.

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