The recent JNU debacle has sparked multiple debates and discussions. But one thing is for sure – this is clearly not the India of the future! I simply don’t understand the grounds of defending this whole uproar over some group of JNU students raising slogans by condemning Afzal guru’s hanging and taking the defence of “free speech”. Surely, freedom of speech and expression (guaranteed under article 19 of the Indian constitution) is a precondition to the successful functioning of a democratic country like India, but does free speech amount to be exercised at this extreme level? Hasn’t the constitution imposed some reasonable restrictions on free speech?

To mention a few:-

1) Limitations on free speech which affects the sovereignty, integrity of the nation.

2) Free speech which incites violence and disturbs the law and order of the state.

3) Free speech which goes against the principle of ‘decency and morality.

So in my opinion, people in this country should conduct their activities keeping in mind that their acts don’t go against the very principle of our constitution. We must remember that the constitution has guaranteed us certain rights and liberties only to be exercised in a non-violent and a peaceful manner that doesn’t incite violence and disturb the equilibrium of our nation!

We as citizens of our country have every right to question our government and seek pertinent answers but this doesn’t authorise us to raise anti-national slogans and question the decision of the supreme authority of our country (the Supreme Court)! I believe that supporting a terrorist who had attacked the parliament of our country is a matter of utmost shame and disgrace and an outlandish act to tarnish the image of our nation.

A nation is known by its citizens and thus we have been bestowed with an immense responsibility to symbolise its dignity and honour. Let us not engage ourselves in acts which tarnishes the image of our nation in the globe and acts which diminishes the democratic structure of our country. If we feel that something is wrong, than let’s come out and engage in fruitful debates. Let’s not spread negative vibes all around and pollute the minds of the rest by politicising the entire issue in consideration. Let us not try to hog the nation’s limelight by putting our country’s pride and honor at stake.

Our freedom fighters who fought a long battle to free our country from the clutches of the British always dreamt of an India where every person would strive towards enhancing the democratic structure of the country by transforming India into a dynamic, composite and a progressive society cherishing common ideals and aspirations!  

Let’s rise above such anarchies and contradictions to build a just India. India which is anti-discriminatory, self-sustaining, inclusive and socially re-distributive! Let “FREE SPEECH” be an incubator for the task of nation building and not a hindrance to its overall development!

Arijit DashArijit Dash is a 1st Year Economics Honours student at St. Xaviers College, Kolkata. He won first place and INR 5000 in the Essay Writing Competition Conducted by Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics.

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