People Must Understand the Definition of Freedom: Supriyo

People Must Understand the Definition of Freedom: Supriyo
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People Must Understand the Definition of Freedom: Supriyo

In the backdrop of JNU incident, Union Minister Babul Supriyo today said people must understand the definition of "freedom" and should act "responsibly" rather than "recklessly".

"There is a belief in our country that by freedom we think we can do and say whatever we feel like. But, freedom is not something that should make you reckless, it is something which should make you responsible," he said reacting to the ongoing JNU row.

"I think, when educated minds get into saying or doing things which prima facie looks inappropriate, then definitely it is a danger to the society...And I will say bringing in political colours into this matter is unfortunate."

Criticising Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for his comments on the issue, Supriyo said he (Rahul) was playing with fire.

"And with almost everybody criticising the Centre's role in calling the police to contain matters in JNU, I will say Rahul Gandhi is playing with fire with the kind of comments he is making since yesterday," the Minister said.

Asked about the rally by Jadavpur University (JU) students in support of JNU students in the controversy over pro-Afzal slogans, Supriyo said "What I have seen in yesterday's JU students' rally where slogans regarding Azadi for Kashmir, Azadi for Manipur, Azadi for Nagaland were raised. I believe there were fringe elements in the rally.

"Or, if this is the mindset of the people, then India will have the similar fate of the USSR (break up of the Soviet Union)."

Asked for whom was his definition of freedom meant, the Union Minister said "Samajdaro ke liye ishara kafi hai (An indication is enough for those who understand). Definitely it's for whoever acting recklessly. We must remember, whether it's JNU or JU, end of the day all are students."

Supriyo hailed efforts of JU students coming out with a rally today protesting yesterday's march.

Talking about the role of the state government in the JU students' rallies in support of the JNU protests, the Minister said "Law and order of a state is completely a matter of the state government. I will not like to comment much on this, but will expect that the law and order situation will be contained as per the situation."

"Everything is subjudice. Personally I am not a supporter of death penalty, even if the highest court orders it as per the law. How can one give slogans against it or for the Azadi of Kashmir inside a college?

"There must be an appropriation. If people make such comments on Afzal Guru, then it is an insult to the system. An insult to the security forces who are giving their lives everyday," he said.

Supriyo was also supportive of TV Mohandas Pai, former CFO and head of HR at Infosys, describing it as a very "appropriate one."

Pai, who is now chairman, Aarin Capital Partners, had said "Dear JNU students, we fund your studies, not your politics."


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