आजादी, آزادی , Freedom

The word “AAZADI” or “FREEDOM” is in much danger than what we saw during the time of the British Raj. During the British era, much before independence, the Britishers introduced such words as “Anti National and Sedition”. The idea behind this concept was to arrest those Indians who went against them or who took on the brutal British repression. Many a leader like Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh were found to be guilty on sedition charges and hence put in jail. Now today, in the modern phase, the phrase “Anti-National” is being used as a tool of supressing dissent, it is imperative to reconstruct the word azaadi positively by making the distinction between the two; the freedom of speech and the sedition.

Many a leader like Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh were found to be guilty on sedition charges and hence put in jail. Now today, in the modern phase, the phrase “Anti-National” is being used as a tool of supressing dissent, it is imperative to reconstruct the word azaadi positively by making the distinction between the two; the freedom of speech and the sedition.

Many a leader like Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh were found to be guilty on sedition charges and hence put in jail. Now today, in the modern phase, the phrase “Anti-National” is being used as a tool of supressing dissent, it is imperative to reconstruct the word azaadi positively by making the distinction between the two; the freedom of speech and the sedition.

“FREE SOCIETY” indeed is not so free, as one would assume of. Here this term certainly signifies different criteria’s on how a free society should be built upon rather than upholding the values of freedom of speech and expression. The expression of a free speech largely depends on what one understands and how one perceives the idea of such notion.

In many parts of the democratic nations across the globe (from United States to UK and various other parts of Europe), the expression of a free speech has been quite different to what we see in India. Every Nation State has its own legal framework; it is for the nation’s democratic citizens to decide on how they want to channelize their right to free speech. In fact, the Constitution of India itself explicitly bestows the power to Indian citizens to speak up freely.

Although reasonable restrictions have been put in place but interpretion of the term vaguely by the state authority creates actual problem and consequently the common citizens having different opinions face such charges which were frequently used by the colonial power.
Now clearly highlighting the recent incident which took place few weeks back on the campus of the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The varsity was targeted by certain groups of our society for something what, was not correct in any sense and later proved as malafide too.

Looking at the present scenario, it is such a disturbed, saddened state to see how our premier universities that hold so much of national importance are being attacked on false grounds and moreover, considered and termed “Anti-National” just because of speaking out and demand for their justice and rights.

What was the incident?

Lets recall the incident that took place on 9 th February 2016, some of the known tv news channels showed how anti – national slogans were being raised in the university premises. The video went viral in few hours after the upload. In the next few days some students including Kanhaiya Kumar, President, JNU student union from All India Student Federation (AISF) were arrested by the police and brought to the custody. The video clearly indicated that students on the campus were raising slogans like “Bharat

The video clearly indicated that students on the campus were raising slogans like “Bharat tere tukde honge… Azfal Guru hum tumhare saath hain” etc. and of course these things were flashed all over with mirch masaala. People from North to South and from West to East unanimously opposed these expressions and condemned the acts. It is indeed highly condemnable and of course it should be. These strong reactions portrayed the wrong image of the JNU students. The entire episode was later proved as merely a cheap creative imagination of few ideologically biased media houses.

What was the outcome?

After much heated debates on both national and international front, it is a known fact that the media stands tall as the fourth largest pillar of our democracy. Since now the truth has been revealed that how few TV channels that showed the coverage, should die of shame as reportedly all their videos were “DOCTORED VIDEOS”.
After this incident, should these few media channels not be punished for what they did? Another question arises where is the creditability of the media? What would one call this, is this not anti national or seditious act? Here it is important to remind all the media houses that it is the credibility, impartiality and authenticity that help one to reach on top and secure a respectful position among viewers. Keeping the credibility in mind, it must be the duty of the free and fair media to expose the corrupt one who is indulged in corrupt information practice and cheating viewers or readers or listeners.

On many occasions, in recent times, we have seen the target has not only been JNU. It all started with the Film and Television Institute (FTII), NET Fellowships, Hyderabad University incidents. Where all this was pointing towards “campus politics” that is quoted by the union government. Such premier institutes of the country are being held charged for “anti national and sedition”. Another significant question comes in mind, why dont our Judiciary and Legislature come up with a clear interpretation of the word “Sedition” if it being used so vaguely and in an authoritative manner against free speech.

In the end, let’s not popularize the word “Aazadi” in a wrong sense, but in a celebrated spirit of giving every Indian citizen his own right to seek aazadi from discrimination, gender biasness, poverty, caste, creed, religion ans so on. If we win this battle only then we can be called as true citizens of this new emerging Bharat. It is for our country Leaders, Judiciary, Bureaucrats and Policymakers to acknowledge the freedom of each one of us as united citizens of this country and not that colonial idea of divisive poltics.

 

(The views are expressed here are the solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of the website.)

The article is written by an independent journalist and a Research Scholar, Richa Bhambi.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s