Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Acts of sedition

Two persons made seditious speeches in Delhi on 21/10/2010 and the central government does not want to prosecute them. The excuse is they don’t want to give them publicity.

P. Chidambaram is good with excuses. Many years back when Shankaracharya of Puri made a statement that should have landed him in jail his excuse was that the Shankaracharya came perilously close to breaking the law.

The countries where rule of law prevails do what is necessary and do not hide behind excuses. Whether someone who has made seditious speech gets publicity or not is immaterial. Law has to take its course. There is equality before law. Whether the person who makes the speech is a politician, legislator or lonely figure is immaterial. People who announce reward for murdering someone don’t get arrested and that makes the target insecure. Such inaction on the part of government made M. F. Hussain give up Indian citizenship.

One speaker is from Kashmir and wants independence for Kashmir. Many young people in Kashmir want independence. If the central government is open to the idea of independence for Kashmir and is ready to let go Kashmir it should say so openly. If it is open to the idea of plebiscite in Jammu & Kashmir it must say so.

Allowing Kashmiris to demand independence will have effects on other parts of India. In every state and union territory demand for independence can crop up.

When some people are not prosecuted for sedition other people follow their example and make such speeches. Tolerating such speeches led to the fall of Kerensky’s government in Russia. That followed many years of communist rule. What happened under Stalin is well known.

Naxals want to overthrow the government. If they succeed they will replicate Cultural Revolution resulting in many killings and destruction.

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