I have come to learn about your opinion regarding the recent happenings in India with special reference to the JNU rows. I hold great respect for you from the bottom of the heart. But when I see you vilifying Indian Government’s role in dealing with the JNU controversy, I really feel hurt being nationalist Indian. You are one of them who are considered as World Citizen, whose fame is not confined into the narrow geographical borders. I respect you as free thinker and propagator of free thinking society where there would be no restrictions over the freedom of speech and expression. Now, let’s come to the main issue-freedom of speech and expression. Provided the current situations in India, you do not hesitate to come to conclusion that Indian Government is indulging into intolerance in the society and it is evident from the arrest of a student named Kanhaiya Kumar being made with sedition charges. You have queried in an mail “Many of us remain very concerned about the crisis in JNU, which was apparently created and precipitated by the government and university administration with no credible evidence of any seditious activities on campus. Why did you allow the police on campus when it is clear that this was not legally required?”. I really doubt whether you have got full-fledged knowledge of the current situations in India. Let me enlighten you. In the process of enlightening you, I would like to start from what our constitution says regarding freedom of speech and expression which I think you should know. There are a lot of rights which have been guaranteed by the Constitution of India, but as you have raised your finger over the India’s role in maintaining freedom of speech and expression, I would not like to extend the discussion by unnecessarily putting stress on other things. Rather I would like to confine my discussion on the main issue.
In our Constitution’s article 19(1), 7 fundamental rights were being guaranteed in its original form, first of which was freedom of expression and speech. But being the combination of individual liberty and social control, Indian constitution has put some restrictions over this right. Indian constitution cannot go in accordance with the policy of Laissez Faire because India is the country with diversity being home to many communities possessing different faiths, customs and what not. So, the court has been created for determining the grounds and extent of the rights of freedom of speech and expression. You visit any of the country in the world, and speak up against Government and can you expect to be treated with democratically? Can you expect treated with VIP status if you abuse the very notion of the unity and integrity of the nation on which a country stand? Do you expect that on one hand, vultures will be speaking up against India and on the other hand, they will be given VIP status and provided with white car with red beacon over its head? Don’t you think it’s ridiculous idea? Apart from providing with rights, Constitution has provided with fundamental duties too to perform as no rights can be exercised without performing duties at certain level.
I have not seen you speak up when our soldiers die in the border for defending our border. I have not seen you speak up when a lot of people have been dying in Syrian Warzone. I have not seen your conscience woken up when 168 innocent civilians died in the hands of a terrorist without being showed mercy. I have not seen you showing sympathy for the minority Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Even I doubt whether you are aware of some incidents of beheading Hindus in Bangladesh. Have you ever spoken up for the Kashmiri Pandits who are forced to live like refugees in their own country without being taken care of by anyone? Have you spoken up for Kurds, Yezidis who are being mercilessly killed, butchered, and massacred at the hands of ISIS? All of a sudden, do not know what’s wrong with you, your tongue started to speak up in favour of a misguided guy who sloganeered against our country and glorified the sick mujaheedeens who were the mastermind of attacking Parliament and ethnic cleansing conducted in Kashmir Valley. So, according to your opinion, people like terrorists, traitors, mass murderers etc. have the copy rights over freedom of speech and expression right? Do you expect us that we should show tolerance towards these mischievous and treacherous deeds of some misguided people? And you are demanding the release of a guy who is left-leaning basically. Do you know how many people were being the victims of mass murder in the name of ideology in which that chap believe? Please do some study and get the fact before commenting. You may be believer of your so-called theory of liberalism, but you should customise your thought process according to the changing situations. Your personal opinion does not carry any value and it does not go in accordance with the law of the land. You should know that any of the ideologies should not be placed above national security. It’s easy to put comments sitting in an AC Room. You need to be exposed to the reality if you want to get real facts. We cannot allow people like Umar Khalid, Kanhaiya Kumar roam freely as they are anti-nationals and remember every country has their own brand of nationalism and anti-nationalism. Do not judge on the basis of your own concept. You need to be empathetic before judging people. You need to put your feet on their shoes; you need to think from the view point of ours.
Hope it will open your eyes and you will give serious thought to it. I would be better for you if instead of being sticked to your so-called rigid belief, get some facts and add value to you knowledge.
From a Common Nationalist Citizen of India
Open Letter to Noam Chomsky