oppn parties Confining Swapan Dasgupta: Left and Right Are Two Faces Of The Same Coin

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
oppn parties
Confining Swapan Dasgupta: Left and Right Are Two Faces Of The Same Coin

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-01-09 11:33:32

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

There is actually no difference between the Left and the Right in India when it comes to keeping their own views supreme and not allowing others with a different view to even have their say. The way BJP MP and noted columnist Swapan Dasgupta was gheraoed at Viswa Bharti University in Shantiniketan by Left-leaning students who refused to allow him to complete his address on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act confirms this fact.

Dasgupta was to address the gathering at the main campus of the university. But when the students announced their intention of disrupting it, the authorities shifted the venue to another campus. But the MP was stopped mid-way and confined in a room for over four hours. If the Left accuses the BJP of stifling free speech, not allowing debate and discussion on issues and showing an authoritarian streak, this attempt to silence Dasgupta showed that it follows double standards. The Left is equally guilty of suppressing freedom of speech.

Free speech is the cornerstone of democracy. Any democracy becomes vibrant only when a thousand ideas bloom. The Left and the Right can have their own take on issues but they have no business preventing others from airing their views. What happened at Shantiniketan showed that by not allowing Dasgupta to speak, the Left-leaning students prevented people from understanding the reasons behind the CAA and why the BJP government thought it fit to enact the law.

It is not for the Left (or anyone else for that matter) to impose their views on the people. Citizens must be allowed to listen to or read wide-ranging opinions on subjects of national importance and then form their own view. By behaving in a similar manner in stifling free speech, the Left and the Right have both shown that they are two faces of the same coin.