JNU, Rohith suicide continue to rock Rajya Sabha

Last Updated 25 February 2016, 19:15 IST

The government and the opposition members again tried to outdo each other in Rajya Sabha on Thursday over JNU row and Rohit Vemula’s suicide case.

While the BJP sought to corner the Opposition for their support to students charged under sedition, the other camp found fault with the Centre’s interference in universities.

Intervening in the debate, Finance Minister and Leader of House Arun Jaitley said “hate speech” cannot be free speech and one should not end up backing terrorists against India’s unity “just to spite us (BJP)”.

Accepting that there can never be a single ideology, he said one understand there would be some radical romanticism in universities. However, he said, authorities cannot turn a blind eye when ‘anti-national’ activities are organised in varsities.

“Hate speech can ever be free speech. Leave the idea of India. Their activities was a war. Their target was the geography and territory. If we don’t have the territory, how can we debate on idea of India,” he said.

“If anti-national slogans are raised, what should police do? Should police remain silent?” he asked.

Referring to the reported understanding between Congress and CPI(M) for fighting West Bengal elections, he said the bonhomie between the Left and the Congress on JNU issue could be due to their electoral compulsions.

(Published 25 February 2016, 19:15 IST)

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