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Sedition Law in India Unclear, Loosely Defined: Nandita Haksar

Afzal Guru\'s lawyer Nandita Haksar today said that the law of sedition is \"loosely\" defined in the Indian constitution and its interpretation depends on who is in power.

Published: 11th March 2016 01:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2016 01:53 AM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Afzal Guru's lawyer Nandita Haksar today said that the law of sedition is "loosely" defined in the Indian constitution and its interpretation depends on who is in power.

"What is sedition and what is not in law is just the matter of who is the master. We need a much deeper understanding of nationalism, of sedition and their subtleties. Even lawyers only look at individual rights and media sees things in black and white," she said while addressing the students at JNU.

Haksar was speaking on "Sedition and Nationalism" as a part of nearly a month-old speak-in series on 'nationalism' by JNU professors and eminent personalities in the backdrop of arrest of three JNU students in a sedition case over an event against hanging of Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

Haksar, the lawyer of both the Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and Ex-DU lecturer SAR Gilani, booked for sedition charges said, "she wanted to prove to the Kashmiris that India had space for dissent".

"When I did the case of Afzal Guru and Gilani that was to prove to the people of Kashmir that there is a space. Do not identify this country with Modi. Please identify this country with all of us Indians who are willing to listen," she said.

Haksar also asserted that questioning the shady acts of Indian Army personnel should not be disallowed under the garb of "nationalism".

"Of course our soldiers are there and they are defending but who are they defending it against? Are they defending it against militants who come inside or are they defending it against our own people who are alienated? The fact is that the only security India can give is that people inside the country are not alienated," she said.

Haksar slammed the government for arresting students and said free thinking should be allowed in campuses.

"Campuses by tradition have been places of thought.

Without campuses, you can't have nationalism. JNU is the place where people charged with sedition become nationalists," said Haksar.

"My nationalism is not going to be defined by Modi or state. This is the battle of different visions of nationalism.

I believe we are right and they are wrong," she said.



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