Democracy in India: When speech is sedition!


Over the decades since its independence, India has successfully used ‘democracy’ as an international currency for common appeal both at the international and national level. However, the rising mono-ethnic cultural and political identity in Hindutva is ostensibly eroding the spirit of democracy. The practical manifestation of anachronistic/imperialist sedition charge in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) episode has not only condemned democracy and its progressive traditions only, but is also contradictory.

On February 9, 2016, Kanhaiya Kumar, President Students Union Jawaharlal University was arrested after a peaceful demonstration to mark the 3rd anniversary of the execution of Afzal Guru. The execution of Afzal Guru is a highly sensitive issue in Jammu & Kashmir, and many people in the Muslim-majority J&K region believe he was not given a fair trial. Miss Mehbooba Mufti, President Peoples Democratic Party Jammu & Kashmir, her late father Mufti Sayeed, Mr. Umar Abdullah (former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir) and his father Dr. Farooq Abdullah (former Federal Minister of India) have all called the hanging of Afzal Guru a “miscarriage of justice.”