What is anti-national? Where do we find it mentioned in our constitution or for the matter, any statutory laws in our country? Why has this term suddenly gained so much prominence in our country?
India has always been a land of not just tolerance but acceptance as well, where multiple views on the same topic has always been a virtue among its peers. This characteristic has been one of the defining factors in the process of framing the secular fabric of the Indian Constitution. Defying this very spirit of the Indian state by promoting a singular viewpoint to supersede over others by calling those views as anti-national is a very sad reality of our times. We must realise here, that dissent is a very important feature of democracy.
It is even more disheartening that such oppressive ideas have penetrated even the educational institutions of our country, and at such depths. Educational institutions are to the moral compass of our society by acting as a benchmark of what society must be like. Colleges and universities should be spaces for developing free and critical thinking in young minds through debates, deliberation and discussions on various rational and logical topics by those minds. Students should be able to freely practice their fundamental rights, at least inside these institutions, and faculty should come in support if they are denied it.
Stifling such minds by promoting singular and uniform ideas and preventing the plurality of thought can be very dangerous for our nation. After all, these students are the leaders of tomorrow. We do not have to look far to see how such notions can affect the growth and development of our nation in a negative manner.
Any prominent and top public institution in the country has always imbibed the quality of not bowing down to political pressure and their ideology. Take, for example, the case of professor emeritus of a prominent institution in the country being asked to submit their CV for review of their status and how the institution as a whole came to their support and demanded the administration to apologize to them. It is these institution that produce the best of citizens that go on to lead the nation and create history.
In an attempt to be the best, which every institute always aims for, I do not think it is possible for any institute to achieve that unless such characteristics are imbibed in their functioning.
By Nawneet Chettri. The author is a lecturer at CCCT , Chisopani, South Sikkim. He can be contacted via his email email@example.com.
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