NEW DELHI, Feb 27:
Describing the comments by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that an “alliance of subversion” was responsible for violence on university campuses as an insult to the Indian academia, the Congress today demanded that the Minister should apologise to the academic community.
Addressing a joint press conference with NSUI president Amrita Dhawan and NSUI leader Rohit Chaudhry, AICC spokepsrson Manish Tewari said,”during his address at the London School of Economics, Mr Jaitley said that there was an “alliance of subversion” on university campuses in India that was responsible for violence.
Through this comment, he has insulted the academia of India- students, teachers and all sections that make up the academic culture in the country. He should apologise for the language that he used against the Indian academia on a foreign soil.”
Delivering a talk at the London School of Economics, Mr Jaitley said,”I find this absolutely strange that an argument is being raised that I have free speech to advocate that India should be broken into pieces and those who oppose me are hindering that right to free speech. Well, they too have a right to free speech.
Violence is not the method; no group can and should use violence…there is an alliance of subversion which is taking place. The separatists and the ultra-Left are speaking the same language in certain university campuses. So they must be willing to allow others with a different opinion to put a counter viewpoint.”
Mr Tewari said that the incidents at Ramjas college which witnessed a clash between the AISA and the ABVP over the latter’s disruption of a college seminar where JNU leader Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid were invited reflected a “deep seated paranoia” among the ruling establishment that there were elements of subversions coming across on the campuses.
”The fact that this alliance is challenging their fascism, intolerance and their right to discourse is making the Government paranoid ,”Mr Twari said.
Slamming the comments by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju against Gurmehar Kaur, daughter of a Kargil martyr who has condemned the ABVP violence, Mr Tewari said,”the violence in Ramjas college is condemnable.
However, what is reprehensible is that the senior ministers of this Government are justifying the violence. Nobody supports the advocacy of a secession from India.
However, violence is not the solution to deal with those exercising their right to freedom of expression, including the right to offend. Those objecting to the differing views have right to take recourse to law.”
In a tweet on Gurmehar Kaur’s comments, Mr Rijiju said,”who’s polluting this young girl’s mind? A strong Arm Force prevents a war. India never attacked anyone but a weak India was always invaded.” Mr Tewari said that the violence in Ramjas, where ABVP activists allegedly attacked the students of Ramjas college protesting against the ABVP disruption of the college seminar, and the senior ministers of the Government justifying it was ‘fascist’ and displayed “arrogance of power”. (UNI)