Saturday, 20 February 2016

The JNU debate- What Is Democracy?

In a general sense democracy is freedom, right? So If we are in a democratic country, we are free. We are free to live where we want, free to take the job we want, study what we want, follow the religion we want and we are free to speak our mind. There are no if-s and but-s in freedom. If you are free, you are free. There are no conditions apply.

Dissent is the backbone of freedom I would say. If we can’t disagree, if we can’t stand against something we find wrong, if we can’t questions laws, if we can’t shout at the system, are we truly free?

In my mind a strong democracy is based on free flowing opinions. If a democracy can’t stand opposing views, by definition does it still remain a democracy? If I stand against the system, do I become anti-national? What does my disagreeing with any system, any law or any decision has to do with my love for my country. It still remains my country. I still love it. Do we never disagree with our parents? Have we never spoken against our parents? Have we never walked out of a room following a disagreement with our parents? Or even with our friends, or anyone else? Does it mean we don’t love them? Does it mean we don’t understand what sacrifices they have made for us? Does it mean we don’t want to live in the same house? Does it mean we don’t cherish the relationship? No it doesn’t!

Then why when we express dissent against any decision by law, we automatically are labelled as anti-national? Then why if we stand merely for freedom of speech, we are told we are not patriotic enough?

I love my country. I am a concerned citizen. I know my rights and my duties (At least some part of it). I am thankful for the freedom my constitution and law provides me. And I still don’t agree with so many things happening in India. I will question it and I will fight for my right to question and as a matter of fact, I stand by anyone’s right to speak. So I stand by JNU when it comes to freedom of speech. They have the right to question and show dissent. By questioning a decision, they don’t become anti-nationals and neither do I, by simply being on their side.

But I also believe there is a line which is drawn by every individual even when exercising their democratic rights. I believe Afzal Guru was a terrorist and whatever happened was right. I don’t care if his family couldn’t meet him. I don’t care if he was made a scape goat. I just don’t care! I care about the innocent lives lost. I care about what the attacks did to my country. This is where I draw the line. If the person standing against me still calls him a martyr, I will get angry. I will be furious. BUT I will walk out of the discussion. Why? Because my opinion is based on my experiences in life and I believe anyone else’s opinion would also be based on their experiences, which will be different than mine. I don’t think opinions are driven only through religion. I will always give anyone benefit of doubt; at the least I won’t question their love for their country just because of one opinion or their religion. Why is it so difficult to understand and follow?

India is a country of Indians, not hindu, not muslim, not any religion. If we are Indian citizens, we have the same rights. We belong to the tri-color, not to saffron, not to green!

Note of caution: This is my opinion about the issue. Readers are welcome to share their opinions but I have low tolerance for rudeness. Please be polite! Thank you

Read more about the JNU controversy here


  1. Absolutely, I am with you on these points.

    And, why do some of us have to have an opinion on everything going around. Why can't we just be agnostic to a few and let things take shape on their own!

    1. Turning blind eye to anti national activities will create a severe cancerous problem in the years to come and have to be nipped in the bud. A person can be allowed to do whatever I'm his home but a glorification of a terrorist by intelligentsia is totally unacceptable and should be shunned by one and all. Why are we having divided opinions on terrorism. Those supporting the barsi of Afzal must be shown the goddamn way.

  2. I totally agree with what you said.

  3. Opinionating is different that holding a barsi of a terrorist. Totally unacceptable. Try and hold barsi of Osama bin laden in America as martyr of 7/11. There are some law as of land that need to be understood and adhered to by one and all as a Nation with it's boundaries. If one has other thoughts, go and join hands with another country and fight a war like a man. Terrorists supporters are real *****+* , be it media or intelligent masses. They are the reason many more terrorists are created impressed by their wording. As a Indian one has to draw a line. Any hand rising to demolish tricolor will be .....,,.

  4. of late i am being so blind to all the opinions and online hatred floating arnd that i was not aware of news . Read it now and I just dont know why it created so much havoc. I just hope ppl gain sanity and behave like humans
    this on one side and jat reservation fight getting intense on other
    am really not sure whether i shud dig deep in to the news and also opine or jusst shut my mouth

    for now chosing the second option

  5. Couldn't say it better. A bunch of morons labeling every voice of dissent as anti-national and it gets more ludicrous. I support JNU too on account of freedom of thought.

  6. Here's another twist...
    One of my batchmates from school is an Advocate in the Supreme Court, and he was on a debate panel on IBN recently. He mentioned that the sedition law is not even about the nation. It is about voicing dissent against the current government! So there's actually nothing "anti-national" about sedition. :D

  7. In my humble opinion, the whole issue has been deliberately misconstrued by some sections of the media, for their own sinister reasons, who are hand in hand with some power-hungry politicians who simply can't bear to be in opposition! That's the crux of it all! The debate is or should never have been about freedom of expression. It was deliberately done to protect some very specific interests - political, intellectual etc. And to counter that high-pitched "freedom of speech" type of bogus argument given by the supporters of JNU protestors, the other side had a strong reaction in the form of a high-pitched ultra-nationalistic rhetoric. No university, no right-thinking Indian should ever allow any voice calling for a break-up of India. This is absolutely not freedom of speech. And then there is the questionable issue of singing praises for a convicted terrorist, a terrorist who has been given due process of law and then executed by the country's highest court. So yes, those bunch of JNU students did break the Indian law by calling for the breakup of India and by voicing support for a terrorist. Someone they had forgotten for two years till now!!! I mean, come on, the politics behind the whole thing is so obvious. It has nothing to do with freedom of speech. True nationalism automatically guarantees freedom of speech. Nobody needs to fight for it. It has nothing to do with this or that religion, all those are things that have been added on to confuse the ordinary Indians. But thankfully more and more people are able to see through the game!


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