Srinagar: Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu has hinted that raising slogans of ‘azadi’ (freedom) anywhere in the country — be it Bastar or Kashmir — will no longer get free pass once his government tightens the contentious sedition law that gives the state power to arrest anyone for ‘treason’, media reports said on Friday.
In an interview with India Today, Naidu made a case for action against those who seek to disturb the integrity and union of India through anti-nation propaganda. When pointed out that the Supreme Court, in several judgments, has protected the rights of citizens to criticise their government, as long as there’s no incitement to violence, Naidu said that’s usually the next step.
“The slogan of azadi is always followed by violence. These people, whether in Bastar or Jammu and Kashmir, always take to the gun. That is the next course. Their slogans will be followed by violence,” reports quoting Naidu said. The Law Ministry and the Home Ministry, after proper consultation, will bring a tougher law to act pre-emptively against those who raise slogans of freedom.
“The unity and integrity of the people is paramount,” Naidu said.