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Unwarranted sloganeering- A threat to peace

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No doubt that a constitutional democracy provides for the protection of minorities should the government turn into anauthoritative one. In fact, freedom of speech and expression form the core of such democracies. However, what if this very protection is used as a weapon to sabotage the peace and tranquillity of the state is a question that deserves immediate attention.

Amidst the celebrations of the 75th Republic Day, the news of religious slogans being raised on the Aligarh Muslim University’s Campus by some students in the National Cadet Corps(NCC) uniform made headlines. The same was confirmed by the varsity administration on January 27, 2023, after it was made explicit through a video in which students were clearly seen shouting ‘Allah-hu Akbar’.University Proctor Prof Mohd. Wasim Ali in an interview given to IndiaTV said that religious slogans were hurled after the Republic Day Celebrations were over. Interestingly, the identified student was immediately put on suspension.

This appalling news forces the mind to beg a question. Where have we reached as a democracy? Institutions of Higher Education and especially of national importance such as the Aligarh Muslim University are places where people from different communities and backgrounds come only to broaden the horizons of their perspectives. They are the visual representation of the diverse country which we are gifted with and are places where students discuss ideas, philosophies and technologies.

However, to profound dismay, far from these, the current scenario paints a picture, very unwelcoming indeed. What purpose did it serve to raise religious slogans that too after the varsity Vice Chancellor Prof Tariq Mansoor in his Republic Day address said “Democracy and secularism are also basic features of our constitution.” And whose collective conscience was satisfied is something that needs to be asked. This is nothing but a testament to the deep-rooted communal ideology. The sad part is, this comes from young minds who are supposedly the future of this country.

More shocking and terrifying is the fact that incidents like these are happening at a time when communal politics is on the rise, Godmen are having a blast of a time, and polarization has reached the veins of citizens. We are facing the worst form of animosity between people where it’s very easy to escalate the severed hearts but is excruciatingly difficult to actually make efforts to make this society at least habitable if not conducive. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every individual(with more expectations with the young minds) to strive in finding ways to reinstall the sense of fraternity, integrity and unity as is asserted in the Preamble to the Constitution of India.

It is about time citizens realized that the freedom of speech and expression cannot be exercised at the cost of the peace and stability of the country. In a country, so sickeningly polarised and viciously volatile as ours where the majority of the people are influenced by communal politics. it is about time we understood that every selective word we speak, every selective silence we keep and every selective action we take will have repercussions unlooked for. Should we wish to save this democracy where diversity of opinions is revered it is pertinent that we create a bedrock of fraternity

Finally, in the present incident, the University administration has claimed to form a three-member committee to look into the issue. The disrupters should be handled stringently and as per the laws of the country and relevant measures should be implemented to stop future occurrences of this sad kind.

References

  1. https://www.amu.ac.in/news/2023/01/27/amu-suspends-student
  1. https://theprint.in/india/amu-student-raises-religious-slogans-in-ncc-uniform-suspended/1338453/
  1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwQdGjp0wBE

(The author is a BALLB second-year student at the Faculty of Law, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh)

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