The combination of violent politics with a stand on freedom of expression exposes the hypocrisy of the communists of Bharat
Much has been written about free speech over the last one month. But let us first have a look at what Justice Pratibha Rani stated while giving bail to Kanhaiya Kumar, president of JNUSU. Regarding the slogans raised during an event in JNU, Justice Rani stated that she considers it “as a kind of infection from which such students are suffering which needs to be controlled/cured before it becomes an epidemic.” She further stated that, “The thoughts reflected in the slogans raised by some of the students of JNU who organised and participated in that programme cannot be claimed to be protected as fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression.” These remarks were proof enough of the fact that something sinister has been going on in JNU in the name of freedom of speech and some ominous entities have been trying to spread it across the country to create an anarchy kind of a situation.
It is indeed true that freedom of speech is an integral part of democratic rights. But those democratic rights come from the democracy that India has and which has been safeguarded by India’s Constitution. However, India has a Constitution simply because India is a sovereign state. And if some body questions that very sovereignty by challenging its territorial integrity or raise slogans to disintegrate the nation into pieces, in the name of freedom of speech, then certainly it cannot be accepted because if India’s sovereignty is destroyed then there would be no Constitution and no democratic rights emanating from that Constitution would exist because a nation without sovereignty cannot have constitutional or democratic rights. Therefore those who question that very sovereignty under the garb of freedom of speech are the biggest enemies of the nation.
Likewise, one has to ask that if it is all about freedom of speech and liberalism then why is it that the Left and the ultra-Left organisations in JNU have always resisted the entry of Israeli or American speakers in the Campus? Why were they so vehemently against Ramdev’s speech in JNU and why have they always shied away from taking a strong stand in favour of Taslima Nasreen and her freedom of speech? Further, talking about freedom of speech, should we also remind the Communists about the violent history of brutal subjugation, censorship and state sponsored silencing of dissent that the ideological fathers of Indian Communists in Soviet Union, China or Cambodia resorted to? Have we ever heard from the Indian Communists about what they think about the brutal clampdown by China in Tiananmen Square against pro-democratic movements? Should we also remind the Indian Communists about their own brutal history of thousands of political murders in Bengal during Left rule that stands as a sheer blot and exposes their hypocrisy surrounding freedom of speech?
Even as Kanhaiya was giving a vitriolic speech filled with hollow rants against PM Modi in JNU after he being granted conditional bail by court and even as a section of media was getting gung-ho about it, just as they were with Kejriwal in 2014 or Hardik Patel in 2015, what went unreported in many of the mainstream media, was the fierce encounter that meanwhile was taking place in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh and in which three CRPF commandoes were killed and more than a dozen were injured. They were killed and injured by the ideological allies of Kanhaiya Kumar, namely the Maoists. In the same time what also went unreported was the brutal killing of young RSS activists by CPM workers in Kerala. Also the cheerleaders of Kanhaiya Kumar would also not talk about the killing of a young tribal woman in Jharkhand by Maoists simply because she refused to give up studies for guns.
Finally, India’s freedom of speech and liberal democracy remains intact and unscathed, not because of 30 year old men feasting on subsidies while pretending to do PhD and giving empty rhetoric in JNU campus but because of soldiers like Capt Pawan Kumar, Capt Tushar Mahajan and Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Kopad and a million more like them protecting it with their blood and life everyday of their life.
Meenakshi Lekhi (The writer is a Member of Parliament)