BJP takes strong exception to the demand for secession of Kashmir made at a Seminar in New Delhi yesterday in which hardline Hurriyan leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and other Kashmiri separatists as well as Naxal and Khalistani sympathizers had come together to demand independence for Kashmir. It is shocking that the central government chose to look the other way while "unacceptable" views were aired in the name of freedom of speech.
BJP feels that what happened in Delhi yesterday when a group of separatists got together to hold a seminar to promote sedition under the nose of the government has stunned the nation. In a democracy, the right to secede cannot be accepted in the garb of right to free speech. The right to free speech enshrined in the Constitution cannot be used against the country.
It is dismaying to note that the central government did not take any preventive measures and has not taken any action to punish the guilty. The central government should not forget that there are two responsibilities and obligations of the state -- to prevent such events and to punish the offenders. On the other hand, the government exercised the option of looking the other way which is not available to it.
BJP is outraged by open anti-India sentiments and demand for sedition at the seminar and finds these as absolutely unacceptable. It seems that the centre has abdicated its duty to protect the unity and integrity of the country by allowing the function to take place in which anti-India voices were raised. The whole country was shocked when separatists met under the nose of the central government to encourage sedition in India. Reports indicate that the issue was 'India cannot be one and has to be broken up.'
Democracy and freedom of expression does not give anybody a right to demand sedition. No democracy permits right to sedition. But some misconceived representatives of civil society have advocated it as free speech. The freedom of speech and expression is a constitutional guarantee, but with certain restrictions. If anybody speaks against the sovereignty of India, such exercise comes under penal law -- offences against state. The Seminar yesterday comes under the purview of the penal law and the people associated therewith including Geelani must be prosecuted. The government cannot be a mute spectator.