What Does The Ramjas Incident Mean For Student Politics And Freedom Of Expression In India?

Posted by siddharth shukla
March 21, 2017

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Recently, we all have been witnessing the outrageous gestures of the student of renowned educational institutes of our country: Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University and some, in the form of protests movements and strikes. One of such incidences is the recent protest by the Ramjas college students against ABVP as the latter had asked to withdraw the invitation given to Omar Khalid and Shehla Rashid. There was a scuff between the two. Amid this violent streak, one thing that right away strikes our head is that youth of India has misunderstood its rights and freedom.

However, regardless of the authenticity of the situation there are two questions that come up: Do we need politics in our educational Institutions? & do people really understand the actual meaning of “Freedom of Expression”?

If the answer to the first question is yes then we must decide what kind of politics we want. Student politics help in producing future leaders of the nation who also have the better educational background. It also enables the merit-based selection of future leaders.

If we see in the context of Ramjas college incident then it has paved the way for other student political leaders to raise their voice against anything without even giving a thought on it. Ramjas college student did not even fully understand the meaning of Freedom of Expression and came out on streets causing the chaos. If we look at Clause (2) of Article 19 of the Constitution of India then we will get the clear picture of why the protest was meaningless and very much against the welfare of our country.

Under Indian Law, the freedom of speech and of the press does not confer an absolute right to express one’s thoughts freely. As per the Clause (2) of Article 19 of the Indian Constitution, the legislature can be imposed on free speech under the following heads:

  • Security of the State.
  • Friendly relations with foreign States.
  • Decency and Morality.
  • Public Order.
  • Contempt of Court.
  • Incitement to an offence, and
  • Sovereignty and Integrity of India.

The above description clearly explains that the protest was legally not justified making the students who were in protest as “Anti-National”. This is so because the individuals to whom the invitation was sent are anti-national people. We cannot send an invitation for anything to any person who himself is anti-national. We cannot just use our Freedom of Expression card and utter anything. India is no doubt a democratic country but when it comes to nation’s security and welfare, we must mind our words. Ramjas college students have set a wrong example for upcoming student politicians with this protest. Also, it is the need of the hour to understand the Indian Constitution and our rights in the proper and complete manner and next time mind and think about our actions before doing them.


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