BJP and the NDA government have not come to grips over the JNU blunder still as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has to reiterate not in India but in Sydney that the country’s image abroad is in tact and was not dented due to JNU incident.
It could have passed off as a campus issue had not Home Monister Rajnath Singh ordered Delhi Police to seige the varisty and arrest its student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar and slapping not simple but one of the harshest and colonial period Sedition charges against him. While BJP thought that it would tarnish the image of JNU and its unique culture what turned out was a huge humiliation inside the country and abroad for the knee-jerk reaction.
While one month of prison for Kanhaiya Kumar turned media against the government, the whole issue of nationalism vs anti-nationalism has touched every corner of the country leaving BJP in defensive as ever. The issue has brought into focus some of RSS ideas and ideology into glare that has shocked many who were not aware of them in the past.
Now that Arun Jaitley is in Sydney, the questions he had to answer was about JNU and soon it would be Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will be giving similar answers to journalists in Brussels. Jaitley tried to downplay the impact JNU incident had on the country’s rights record abroad.
He defended it saying, "I don’t think it’s an issue of creating any dent to the image for simple reason that no country how liberal can allow an agenda which openly speaks in terms of breaking the country," Jaitley told Indian journalists.
"India is a liberal society. Its a democratic society and it allows freedom of speech…but even under our constitutional order, sovereignty of India is an exception to the principle of free speech," he said, defending police action on JNU that has attracted worldwide attention and more than 400 intellectuals from abroad petitioning to the Indian government to release kanhaiya Kumar, including political scientist and activist Chomsky.
Moreover, Arun Jaitley’s remarks from Sydney have soon got a worldwide attention that the social media said the minister should not have said it. "Jaitley talks about our internal (JNU) problems at Sydney so the image ‘Dent’ of our Nation gets wider publicity internationally," wrote one netizen.[tags, jnu row, arun jaitley, sydney press conference, pm modi, brussels visit, india image abroad, dent, jnu incident, kanhaiya kumar, sedition charges,]