This edit is with reference to the sedition charges slapped on sixty seven Kashmiri students from Meerut. Since the allegations against them are pretty serious, one has to scrutinise what this law actually states and whether these students be held guilty for breaching this law. Article 124A.1 of the constitution describes this law stating (“ Sedition.– Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, 2[ the Government established by law in 3[ India], a 4[ shall be punished with 5[ imprisonment for life], to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine. “).
Now one might say that their act hurt the sentiments of many and they triggered the hatred or excited the disaffection of people. However, what was the cause or action which can be comprehended as anti-national? Did they insult the Indian Flag? Did they betray their country?
Did they do anything to trigger the wrath of the people to such an extent that sedation charges be slapped on them? They merely cheered the Pakistani team during the Asia cup. One needs to look at the issue from a bird’s eye view for unbiased introspection.
Since decades, India and Pakistan have been proving their mettle in the field of cricket. Everytime there is an India-Pakistan match, it looks like as if a war has broken out. The crowds cheer with passion; if their side scores, they get a rapturous applaud. Similarly, when their side gets dismissed, the spectators often resort to violence.
Besides, Kashmiris have to encounter huge discrimination. Law and order is deteriorating in the state. People live in constant fear and insecurity. There is lack of development in that region. So living in such harsh conditions one is bound to feel a sense of betrayal and alienation. Also due to cultural roots, Kashmiri Muslims can feel a sense of favour towards Pakistan. Is it right for Indians born and brought up in other countries to stop supporting their motherland in sports or during times of war?
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah intervened and expressed his discontent on this issue. He stated that such an action could jeopardise their career and “further alienate them.” Akhilesh Yadav lent him a ear and the sedition charges against them were dropped.
People talk about the mistreatment of Hindus in Pakistan. Hafiz Saeed has invited the boys to complete their studies from Pakistan. Such moves further triggers India’s wrath. However, lets not shift from the focus. What was the problem? Young guys cheering for Pakistan? Why so much hue and cry over such a trivial issue? Let us not make mountain out of molehill.