Is being opinionated a crime?

Is being opinionated a crime?

Submitted by alvin on Fri, 2016-03-11 19:04 Bengaluru: Does voicing your opinion against issues that concern the nation make you an anti-national? Isn’t the very fabric of democracy all about debating, asked All India Students’ Association, Shehla Rasheed.Participating in an interaction meeting in Bengaluru on Friday, Shehla said uproar over JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar was uncalled for. It was a casual debate over Afzal Guru organised by the union. But was misconstrued as anti-nationalist campaign and unfortunately, the students participating in it were labelled as anti-nationals, she said.“Afzal Guru’s case was taken up as a case study for a healthy debate and not to support any. But some section of the media tried to twist the issue, while ABVP took advantage of it and branded us and JNU as anti-nationals,” said Shehla. JNU students are opinionated and ideologically driven like in any other campus. Campus debates too ensure an effective democracy and a progressive nation, she added. She sought to clarify that the student union members had condemned pro-Afzal Guru slogans but BJP took it otherwise. “In reality, BJP did not had anything against the slogans raised but against the JNU since it runs on public funds. BJP too had raised slogans but no one acted against it but arrested Kanhaiya Kumar," she said.While answering to a question on why JNUSU leaders could not prevent them from raisingslogans, she said that JNUSU was not a 'Censor Board'. "ABVP raises slogans like 'Khoon se tilak karenge, bullet se aarthi'. They are not prevented from raising it, as everyone is allowed to express their opinions at JNU, she said.Responding to a question on whether JNUSU harbored political ambitions, she said that the broad challenge now was to save the ideals enshrined in the constitution.Calling the anti-national issue as BJP-Scripted, Shehla said, "All issues including Hyderabad university, Allahabad, Muslim university were raised by BJP government and minister itself started giving false statements while Smriti Irani lied at the parliament with derogatory remarks.”A march to Parliament will be taken out on March 15 in Delhi demanding rights to hold parallel protests in other cities, Shehla said.