Monday, November 29, 2010

Should sedition charges be filed against Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Arundhati Rai?

My answer to the question is an unequivocal 'No' and this for two reasons. First, what the Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Arundhati Rai had recently said in Delhi on the Kashmiris' right to freedom from Indian control has been said over and over again by thousands in the Kashmir Valley for years. This year itself has seen hundreds of processions of young people in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley shouting slogans of 'Azadi'. Since Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, all those slogan shouting young people are Indian citizens like Geelani and Rai; and if they have not been charged for sedition the government has no business to do that to Geelani and Rai.

Secondly, by filing a first information report against the duo a halo of martyrdom has been put around them quite unnecessarily and the lady with the poisoned quill will take the fullest advantage of it. She has already lined up some greats of India's recent history on her side and will do everything possible to garner more and more publicity and sympathy for her cause. She feeds and lives on publicity and the only way to see the last of her is to deny that to her but in their thoughtless bravado the government and the court have ended up doing what she would love them to exactly do.

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