This is my response to M. J. Akbar's op-ed in New York Times, I was disappointed in him, as an intellectual, I expected him to defend free speech and JNU, but he compromised his interests and turned the issue into sedition. I feel sorry for the loss of his freedom to express what is right, and instead, he carefully pandered to the raw sentiments of those who are insecure and want to control others. I guess that is what it takes to make it in the world for some.
As they say, Satyameva Jayate, the truth ultimately triumphs, indeed free speech ultimately triumphs. India has come a long way in becoming a democratic pluralist culture, it is a learned behavior, and it can also learn to respect free speech. Let no one be hindered from free speech. You have better counter it with a better speech to put bad speech out of circulation that is the civil thing to do.
As a Muslim I stand for free speech, this is precisely what those guys have done to Islam in the past, they have robbed Muslims’ God given right to free speech through Fatwa and excommunication threats. Of course, it is not just Muslims, the Hindus, Christians, Jewish and other societies have tight rules to shut people up through similar authoritative calls.
India will not disappear just because someone shouts it so, her people make India, I urge the government not to feel threatened, let them do it. We should instead take pride in our freedom, we are secure enough to allow diversity of opinions, even if it sounds against the interest of the nation, and we are a secure nation to give room for differences.
I am against such slogans; but I will stand up for the rights of those who have something to vent, every one should have the right to dissent. I think we are capable of handling the anti-India slogans, in the end; after all they are our rebel children. If we don't consider them as our children, we need to grow up and develop the ability to deal with them on an equal footing and not brute force.
Free speech, Zindabad!
Mike Ghouse for free speech
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