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Saturday, September 19, 2020

We The People: ‘I enjoy the right to speak against PM, if necessary… Even after speaking against him, people are not prosecuted’

What does the Constitution mean in their lives, in letter and spirit? Which rights matter to them the most, at home and beyond, as they enter 2020, the 70th year of the Republic.

Written by Sampad Patnaik | Cuttack | December 29, 2019 9:12:01 am
We The People: 'I enjoy the right to speak against PM, if necessary... Even after speaking against him, people are not prosecuted' Anshuman Singh

Anshuman Singh is a post-graduate student of English at the Udaynath Autonomous College at Adaspur in Cuttack. While pursuing his passion of making films, Anshuman would also like to work as a translator, and someday join the Odisha Administrative Service.

What does India mean to you?

When I see the Indian Army defend our country or do a good job, I feel proud to be Indian. But I don’t feel good (about India) when I read reports of women being raped or that they have to protest for basic things like safety. Being Indian is to execute and observe laws. All I see is government making new laws such as the new citizenship law, and people not ready to accept them. But there are many laws that keep us safe, on which we all agree — laws on cleanliness and women’s safety. As Indians, we should observe these laws. But people call me anti-Indian because I really love foreign countries (laughs).

Have you ever been to Delhi?

Yes, my father’s brother is a magistrate based in the Capital.

Which is the farthest place you have traveled to from your hometown?

Some of my family members stay in Auroville, Puducherry. I have been to the place. I have also travelled to Gujarat.

Do you have a friend from another part of the country?

I stayed in Punjab for a month, with a friend. I travel frequently.

What are the three important rights that you enjoy as a citizen of this country?

I think I have one powerful right in this country…the right to speak against the Prime Minister, if necessary, on Facebook. People say many derogatory things about Modiji, but it is the greatest power we enjoy. Even after speaking against him, people are not prosecuted… but it’s different if you happen to speak against Mamata Banerjee.

For you, the government is…

Not eager or worried about creating jobs for the youth. I recently read somewhere that the Odisha government is presiding over the highest unemployment among all states. I do not wish to work outside my state because I am the only child of my parents. The Central government also does not show interest in improving Arts (Humanities) stream (in higher education). This forces even an average student in the Arts to only aim for jobs such as the IAS. Centre should also try to provide middle-rung jobs.

For you, a good citizen is…

Someone who obeys all laws.

For you, the most important historical event has been…

The scrapping of Setion 377. According to 377, any consensual act between two men, was not okay… That was an irony because you cannot stop two people unless they are harming a third person.

In the New Year, what is the one change you want in the country?

The removal of the reservation system. My mother is Brahmin, my father is Rajput. So when we apply to colleges or for jobs, we have no relaxation like the SCs and STs do. I am not against reservation per se, but against relaxation of marks or criteria (just to fill seats). Their effort is no more than ours, so relaxation is partiality.

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