Sedition charges

Published: March 9, 2014
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JUBAIL, SAUDI ARABIA: Sedition charges for cheering a rival cricket team? India, the world’s largest democracy, looks small when it acts in this manner to stop its citizens from choosing what cricket team they can cheer for. However, eventually better sense prevailed and the UP government withdrew the sedition charges against over 67 Kashmiri students for cheering Pakistan’s victory over India in the Asia Cup, while watching the match in their university hostel in the UP city of Meerut. Interestingly, these students got admission to the university under the Prime Minister’s Scholarship Programme initiated in 2010 to win the hearts and minds of Kashmiris. So what’s the message that the university administration and the UP government sent to the people of Kashmir? That you are not welcome because you are not aligned with our thinking, our choices and our actions.

This is not the first time that Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code has been arbitrarily used against freedom of expression — earlier human rights activist Arundhati Roy and a Kashmiri leader, Syed Ali Geelani, faced sedition charges for speaking at a conference on the freedom of Kashmir. In my opinion, it’s not only the UP government which is the culprit for making a non-issue into an issue of national interest, but also action should be taken against the university administration, which didn’t bother to first internally investigate the whole sordid episode.

Masood Khan

Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • someone
    Mar 9, 2014 - 11:13PM

    Well sir I don’t think you know what democracy means may be because you are living in a Monarchy. Just because India is a democratic country , it does not mean anti national sentiments would be tolerated. Since you are in Saudi Arabia, let me ask you, would criticizing Islam would be tolerated in Pakistan since Pakistan is also a democratic country.

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  • Utkarsh Srivastava
    Mar 10, 2014 - 5:38AM

    @someone:
    Pakistan is an islamic republic and there r blasphemy laws

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  • someone
    Mar 10, 2014 - 7:33AM

    @Utkarsh Srivastava:
    My point exactly. And they still have balls to lecture us on Democracy.

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