Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya’s Politics and Sedition

After Kanhaiya Kumar, it was the turn of Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya to get bail in the JNU sedition row.

In parity with the Kanhaiya Kumar, the duo also got a six months interim bail by the Delhi’s Patiala House Court.

But with a more surety amount — Rs. 25,000 and more movement restrictions. Unlike Kanhaiya Kumar who has to inform the Police every time he leaves the country, the duo have to do the same every time they move out of Delhi.

I hope the bail hearing of Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya was different from the Kanhaiya kumar’s.

For these reasons.

While granting bail to Kanhaiya Kumar, the honourable Court, the bench of Justice Pratibha Rani, made many comparisons and comments, without clearly defining for the benefit the citizens, what exactly Kanhaiya Kumar did and what he must not do during the bail period not to commit sedition.

I can’t say of Kanhaiya, but after reading the judgement, I felt that anything can be termed as sedition. I may be wrong though.

Below are the key points the Court made in the Kanhaiya case that day,

“the thoughts reflected in the slogans raised by some of the students of JNU who organised and participated in that programme cannot be claimed to be protected as fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression”, and that the court would “consider this as a kind of infection which needs to be controlled/cured before it becomes an epidemic”.

“Whenever some infection is spread in a limb,” the court said, “effort is made to cure the same by giving antibiotics orally and if that does not work, by following second line of treatment. Sometimes it may require surgical intervention also. However, if the infection results in infecting the limb to the extent that it becomes gangrene, amputation is the only treatment.”

“While dealing with the bail application of the petitioner, it has to be kept in mind by all concerned that they are enjoying this freedom only because our borders are guarded by our armed and paramilitary forces.” said the court. “Suffice it to note that such persons enjoy the freedom to raise such slogans in the comfort of University Campus but without realizing that they are in this safe environment because our forces are there at the battle field situated at the highest altitude of the world where even the oxygen is so scarce that those who are shouting anti-national slogans holding posters of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt close to their chest honoring their martyrdom, may not be even able to withstand those conditions for an hour even.”

“The kind of slogans raised may have a demoralizing effect on the family of those martyrs who returned home in a coffin draped in Tricolor.”

“As President of JNUSU the petitioner was expected to be responsible and accountable for any anti national event organized in the campus,”

The Court said that (Kumar) might have introspected about the events that had taken place during his 20-day custody, hence the Court is “inclined to provide conservative method of treatment” and granted interim bail. The Court granted the bail on the undertaking from Kanhaiya Kumar that he would not “actively or passively” participate in such an activity again.

Although, the bench had noted that the Delhi police had admitted that Kumar had “not been seen” raising any anti-national slogans in the video footage available.

The learned judge spoke at lengths, but didn’t tell what Kanhaiya did and what he must not do in future to commit Sedition.

Lets divert from the topic a little bit.

Answer these questions in Yes or No.

  • Will you attend a two hour lecture about why Sedition is Bad and Patriotism is Good. without telling you which specific acts constitute Sedition?
  • The families of martyrs (Indian soldiers who lost their lives defending the nation) opposed the Indo-Pak T20 Cricket World Cup 2016 match at Dharmashala, Himachal Pradesh. Do you see their opposition justified?
  • In a rally of a Politician, a group of people shouted Pro-Modi slogans, who should be held responsible for the sabotage? The Politician in whose rally the slogans were shouted?
  • The members of a political party give controversial statements every now and then, Could the leader of that political party be held responsible?
  • The Bar council of India has a view that the convicts in sexual assault cases, even of the rarest of rare nature, must NOT be given death penalty. Can we call the Bar Council of India misogynist or anti-human?

Coming back to the Sedition issue,

Does protesting the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru constitute Sedition? Asking this as the BJP’s ally in Jammu and Kashmir, has always remained pro-Afzal Guru.

If the anti-India slogans were not raised by those arrested and now released on bail, then who did? Is it alright to keep calling them as Anonymous Group?

Are anti-Government and anti-India the same?

What exact behavior the Honorable Courts wanted Kanhaiya Kumar and co-accused to abstain from? … As ever since their release, there is no stagnation in their political activism.

And finally, what kind of behavior in the trio, the Court finds unacceptable; and hence wants corrective remedial actions to be taken?

Think over it…