CHENNAI: Amid the raging debate over sedition charges being slapped on Jawaharlal Nehru Universitu (JNU) students, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram today said the BJP-led regime was instilling a sense of fear and insecurity among large sections of the people by treating all dissenters as anti-national.
"Dissent is the essence of democracy. Dissenters are not anti-national. A dissenter is no less of a patriot than anyone else," he said here at the launch of his book Standing Guard: One Year in Opposition.
The former Union minister said institutions and universities "are places where different ideas will have to come together and clash with each other."
The narrative of the ruling BJP regime has changed from "development to intolerance, cooperation to confrontation, welfare and security of all to a deep sense of insecurity and fear among large sections of the people," he said.
The development-oriented claims of 2015 have been replaced wiith issues like Dadri, the suicide of Rohith Vemula and now JNU, he said.
"If you hear different voices in universities today it is because these sections have long been neglected. Youth from these sections have struggled their way to universities and they are willing to stand up and speak out," the Congress leader said.