Kanhaiya Kumar vs the State: A Brief History of Sedition in India

Politics

Kanhaiya Kumar vs the State: A Brief History of Sedition in India

Illustration: Akshita Monga

“Y

ou can only lose what you cling to,” said the Buddha, a much wiser being than any who are attempting to run the country today. Clinging on to things, specifically events that took place over a thousand days ago, will be the theme of proceedings at the Patiala House Court in Delhi, as the court hears a sedition case that is due to come up today against former Jawaharlal Nehru University students, Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, along with seven others.

In February 2016, Kumar, Khalid, and like-minded students from JNU held a rally in Delhi to mark the day that the terrorist Afzal Guru was surreptitiously hanged, which led to clashes with members of the BJP’s student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. Though the incident occurred nearly three whole years ago, it took until this week for the Special Cell of the Delhi Police to file a chargesheet against the student activists. Everyone procrastinates their paperwork, but perhaps the Delhi Police were going for a world record in this case.

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