JNU president Kanhaiya Kumar was released today on interim bail for six months and we saw wide scale celebrations – at Jantar Mantar and in JNU.
The celebrations are logical only if they are a natural reaction to the administrative actions taken (or excesses done) by the State and the police and not when they are seen as extensions of the feelings hostile to the nation.
It becomes sort of ‘ultra-leftist’ then.
-- The way some people have acted like ‘ultra-nationalists’ to create a monster out from a prestigious institution and some over-enthusiastic students – something that is totally unacceptable!
We are free to exercise our Constitutional right of the freedom of expression as long as it doesn’t interfere with the sanctity provided to us by the Constitution, a sanctity we start losing the day we start colluding with anti-India sentiments.
Our Constitution, as laid out by the Supreme Court, still protects as – even if we shout anti-India voices.
But the day, we go beyond the restrictions of this sanctity – when we start acting on the feelings so far expressed only through some innocuous words – innocuous because so far they had not incited anyone to acts against the interests of the nation – we lose this Constitutional protection.
Why is JNU an example of the ‘state’s excesses’? Because this Constitutional sanctity was still not violated there. And if there was a fit case for taking action against anti-India sloganeering, the State should have explored the options befitting to an educational institution and students first, instead of going into the provisions of the Indian Penal Code.
For a legal, penal and judicial system that believes in rehabilitation, students do deserve a second chance.
We need to see that leftists don’t become ‘ultra-leftists’.
Likewise, we need to see that nationalists don’t cross the fine line of Constitutional obligation and become ‘ultra-nationalists’ – the way a BJP MLA and some lawyers did – the way anti JNU-students lobby has acted – the way some fringe elements have been raising voices consistently.
Debate, dissent, ideological differences, multi-party presence and a strong civil society – all these are must for a healthy and maturing democracy. A democracy cannot become strong if it has a weak political opposition. A democracy ceases to be a democracy the day a single ideology establishes absolute domination within its precincts.
Democracy needs rightists! Democracy needs leftists! Democracy needs centrists. Sans their ‘ultra-esque’ brethren – without them clinging to the ‘ultra’ extremes!
A democracy never needs ‘ultra-leftists’ or ‘ultra-nationalists’. They choke the dialogues process that all the stakeholders, that we all are, must engage in to create a pluralistic society, a robust democracy and a strong nation.