Freedom of speech – a right being misused again and again

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Palash Sinha, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


For the last couple of weeks the news which is trending all over the social media is the JNU anti-India row. So, what happened actually, let us have a brief look at that. It all started with staging a program called “A country without a post office — against the judicial killing of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt”, which was supposed to showcase the protest through poetry, art and music. This set off the row, with the Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) staging a protest to demand expulsion of the organizers. The university administration ordered a “disciplinary” inquiry and said the event organizers “went ahead without permission.” ABVP members alleged that the protest march consisted of students shouting ‘anti-India’ slogans. A purported video from the event shows students shouting anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans. Students in the video are heard saying slogans like: “Kashmir ki azai tak bharat ki azadi tak, janh rahegi jari”.And from this point the situation got out of hand. Investigators probing the ‘sedition’ case in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) are looking for five persons who were allegedly shouting “anti-India” slogans during an event on JNU campus on February 9, said sources in Delhi Police.

JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on sedition charges after allegations of ‘anti-national’ sloganeering against him surfaced. He was ordered to three days of police custody. Home Minister Rajnath Singh talked to Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi and released a statement: “If anyone raises anti-India slogans, tries to raise questions on the country’s unity and integrity, they will not be spared.”

The situation further deteriorated when The BJP MLA O.P. Sharma who was also in Patiala House Courts during the scuffle, got embroiled in the controversy when a video of him started surfacing. The video showed Mr. Sharma beating up a CPI worker outside the court’s gate number 4.Opposition parties also pounced on this situation and made the whole chaos a political battleground to attack the government. Still now the controversy and the role of the government in this situation are under question. But it is high time we introspect a little more. Is this the way the country should go forward, where students shout anti-India slogans, politicians play blame game and the whole concept of freedom of speech is getting used in a nonsensical way….time to ponder on it.


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