Why we Must do Everything to Protect our Future’s Right to Free Speech

Why we Must do Everything to Protect our Future’s Right to Free Speech
  • Opening Intro -

    Students are the future of any country, and it is for this very reason that students should be taught well the value of questioning and debating what they are made to know.

    While any college attempting to uphold the concept of healthy argumentation will teach its students the power and value of free expression, college freedom of expression has faced repression in many parts of the world.

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Students are the future of any country, and it is for this very reason that students should be taught well the value of questioning and debating what they are made to know.

While any college attempting to uphold the concept of healthy argumentation will teach its students the power and value of free expression, college freedom of expression has faced repression in many parts of the world.

Autocracies as well as democracies have exhibited resistance toward students. Students, being the free thinkers they are, often question the action of the governments and the authoritarian regimes, thereby causing discomfort to the administrative class.

While some liberal governments value these questions and attempt even to answer them, some governments have reacted with crackdown on students and suppressing college freedom of speech. What happened in Jawahar Lal Nehru University in India is a case in point.

Student Repression at JNU

In early 2016, academicians from world over came out in support of Kanhaiya Kumar, the President of JNU students’ union, and other students after they were arrested and slapped with sedition charges by the Delhi Police.

The police, in the absence of any evidence, acted on a whim when it put innocent students behind bars. Nothing that Kanhaiya did was close to sedition, a charge already scraped from the law books of many developed nations.

The government relented under pressure, but Kanhaiya and his companions are out only on bail. They are still fighting the tough fight for college freedom of expression.

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Read New York Time’s powerful editorial on this whole issue here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/opinion/indias-crackdown-on-dissent.html?_r=0

Pro-Palestinian student groups have been targeted in many parts of the world, including America. In 2014, the Northeastern University suspended a students political group called Students for Justice in Palestine.

The Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights recently released a joint report which claimed 300 and more incidents of repression against pro-Palestine student groups in America. While such incidents have been condemned, the undeniable fact is they do occur every day.

Read more on this here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/repression-student-activism-palestine_b_8229850.html?section=india

While one may choose to disagree with the politics of a students group, its agenda, or the question it raises, no section of the society has the right to take away from students their right to free expression.

Uncomfortable things must be said. Likewise, disturbing questions must be raised.

College freedom of speech is important because it not only questions the wrong doings of the government, it also keep those in power on their toes by raising these very questions.

If you are a student, or a responsible citizen who appreciates the value of dissent and freedom of expression, and want to do your bit by spreading awareness about free speech, click below to share this article.

Campus Life reference:

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