Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday joined the ongoing nationalism versus free speech debate amid the tussle between RSS-affiliated ABVP and Left-wing AISA, saying nationalism is a bad word only in India, ANI reports. “Nationalism is a good word, ye toh kewal iss desh mein hai ki rashtravad bura shabd hai.”
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, too, put forth his idea of freedom of speech. “I support freedom of expression within legal restrictions,” he told ANI Thursday. Parrikar’s remark elicited a sharp retort from CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury who questioned Parrikar: “What defines legal restrictions of the Defence Minister? His whims and fancies? Restrictions are defined by our Constitution.”
WATCH VIDEO | Ramjas Row: ABVP Workers Take Out Protest March Outside Art Faculty
Jaitley and Parrikar are not the first ministers who have reacted to the clashed between ABVP and AISA members in Ramjas College on the Delhi University campus on February 22 and the subsequent social campaign launched by the Lady Shri Ram College student, Gurmehar Kaur, against the ABVP.
Earlier, Haryana Minister Anil Vij had told the media: “Those who are supporting Gurmehar Kaur are all pro-Pakistan. Such people have no right to live in India and they should be thrown out of the country.”
In an apparent reference to Gurmehar Kaur’s campaign, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, too, had said in a tweet that “nobody has the absolute right to define nationalism but anybody who wants to break India, supports Afzal Guru and terrorists is anti-national.”
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