Hate speech can never be free speech
Indian Finance minister Arun Jaitley yesterday said “hate speech can never be free speech”, rejecting allegations that the government was cracking down on students because it didn't agree with their views.
“Vandalism is condemnable but sedition is free speech? Vandalism is terrible but in the name of academic freedom how can hate speech become freedom of expression. How can hate speech become freedom of expression?” he said in Rajya Sabha while speaking in Parliament's debate over unrest in Hyderabad University, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and other institutions.
Jaitley was commenting on sedition cases being filed against JNU students for alleged anti-national slogans and lawyers attacking them in Delhi court, reports Hindustan Times.
Initiating the debate yesterday, Left leader Sitaram Yechury accused the government of charging students with sedition because it couldn't tolerate dissent and wanted to enforce its ideology on everybody.
Meanwhile, detectives questioning Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, the JNU students held in a sedition case, are having a tough time cracking the duo with the former denying his involvement in any sloganeering and the latter challenging claims that the slogans were “anti-national”.
Delhi Police yesterday continued their interrogation of Khalid and Anirban but remained tight-lipped about developments in the case citing High Court's order to maintain utmost secrecy, reports PTI.