When slogans were yelled out at the JNU campus more than a year ago now, a charge was leveled against the students. A charge that was so serious that not more than 300 such cases have reached the High Courts and not more than 20 have been heard by the Supreme Court. The charge was of Sedition, Section 124A of the Indian Penal code.
To everybody’s surprise the same Section 124A of the IPC was charged against the 66 students that were nabbed by the Chandigarh police of April 11, 2017. The events that took place on the Panjab University campus were dreadful not just according to the students but according to the police officials as well. But a sedition charge? Has Panjab University stooped so low that it goes against the nation while protesting the fee hike? Or is it now a trend to shout anti-national slogans at varsity campuses?
The answer is a simple NO. The Panjab University students were trying to conduct a peaceful demonstration, while some fringe elements started the violence. The slogans were never against the state. What the students shouted was against the University authorities and the University Grants Commission but never against the nation.
So, is the police to blame? Many politicians from AAP and even Rahul Gandhi have taken up social media and without gaining knowledge of the matter have blatantly accused the government and the police. Even JNU students like Umar Khalid have started to blame the Centre government. A few in Panjab university have followed suite. Naval deep a senior leader of the PUSU party was seen sharing news bytes from NDTV India that again portrayed the event as a propaganda of the centre government.
For what are we blaming the government? For what are we going against the Chandigarh police?
It has been rightly said “half knowledge is dangerous.” We have to stop the outcry.
Now that the Sedition charges have been dropped. It remains to be understood why these were filed in the first place. The charges were levelled against 66 students. These were based on the complaint by Ashwani Kaul, Chief Security Officer of Panjab University. The police took note of the complaint and acted accordingly. However, Kaul later clarified that in his complaint he said the students shouted slogans against the “State” and by this he meant the PU, UGC and the MHRD.
Now you decipher for yourself. Is the Chandigarh police to be blamed is the government to be blamed or is it a mistake by the Chief security officer? Shouldn’t he be publicly apologising for the wrong use of words that might have put the lives of these 66 students in jeopardy?
Let’s not have our minds polluted with comments made by politicians and journalists that sit somewhere in Delhi or Mumbai and without knowing the ground reality go on propagating lies. The sedition charges have been dropped and as Captain Amrinder Singh rightly said, “it was a stupid claim”.
About the Author:
Kshitij Bhargava (SD College 32)
Student of Economic honors and journalism. A big time football fan. Loves live rock music, progressive rock. Travelling is the best and easiest way to find happiness.