#SeditionDebate: Students are not a special breed; they come under the same laws as you and I

When it suits them these rabble-rousers become students. Otherwise they can be hellions and break the law and then scream with righteous indignation.

Bikram Vohra February 13, 2016 12:08:16 IST
#SeditionDebate: Students are not a special breed; they come under the same laws as you and I

Why shouldn’t the JNU Student Union president Kanhaiya Kumar be arrested? He led the anti-national crusade supporting a terrorist. He is not a child. And he spearheaded the rally in media’s backyard. Enough of this hiding behind the bushes in the groves of academe.

When it suits them these rabble-rousers become students. Otherwise they can be hellions and break the law and then scream with righteous indignation.

SeditionDebate Students are not a special breed they come under the same laws as you and I

Students protest at JNU. AFP

Nobody has given students a special benediction to offend, insult or provoke and this silly idea that whatever nonsense they espouse is an intellectual pursuit is so much dross.

Students debate, they do not propagate.

You want to discuss the merits of hanging the man who masterminded an attack on the Indian Parliament knock yourselves out in a 'for and against' debate. Give the prize to the best speaker. You can even have a round table conference in-house. That is acceptable freedom of expression. Do it on campus.

To make it public, to have an agenda, to be political and to offend your nation and your Constitution and to promote material about you that turns the issue into a cause and the student into a rebel is not an exercise in grand thought.

It is sedition, pure and simple.

Think about it. They made cartoons and sketches honouring the man. The meet was held in his memory. In his memory! What more proof of treachery does one need?

Sure, as the famous words go: “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

That is an opinion and everyone is entitled to it. But when it becomes an encroachment on my rights then your freedom stops.

In no country would this be allowed. Sorry, did I say allowed? In 83% of the world Mr Kumar would have disappeared. Game set and match.

It is only in 17% of the globe, and that includes India, that we can sit and discuss the issue and even have sections whinge about arresting students as if they were some special breed of humanity deserving special privileges.

What is the big deal about arresting anyone who engages in anti-national activity? There is nothing fascist about stopping such absurdities so comparing the arrests to the Emergency is ridiculous. The Emergency was a citadel of excess. Here the students are the poster children for excess.

In fact if the government took no action that would be wrong. It cannot afford to be populist and mollycoddle young men and women who have yet to contribute to the commonwealth and are largely dependents being paid for and maintained by their parents and the state.

In this country we take this student power concept to foolish lengths. There is not a scintilla of saving grace in the protest meet held at the Press Club. Also this idea that somehow students are exempt from acceptable conduct and can be outrageous because they worship at some special altar of knowledge is tripe.

You want to flirt with danger and you want to be hostile and vicious then face the consequences. No wet behind the ear lad who should be studying in class is going to tell 1.2 billion Indians that the very Parliament that represents the freedom which let this group even get as far as to hold such a meet deserved to have been attacked by Afzal Guru and the terrorist is a hero for doing so.

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