Other States

Outcry against oppression doesn’t make a person an anti-national: Sharad Pawar

NCP chief Sharad Pawar. File

NCP chief Sharad Pawar. File | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

The Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar deposed before the Bhima Koregaon Commission on Thursday. Mr. Pawar stated, “When any political leader chooses to address people he should take necessary precaution that his speech does not contain inflammatory substance, which may cause disturbance of peace, law and order and animosity amongst different sections, religious groups and members of the society.”

The NCP chief went on to say, “If any person/political leader chooses to do so and indulge in such public address or speech, then he is responsible for the consequences.

Talking about the event at Koregaon on December 31, 2017, Mr. Pawar said, “The speeches in Elgar Parishad may have been an outcry against oppression and atrocities committed against weaker sections which does not amount to committing any offence under the law. If any person makes a speech within the ambit of the Constitution of India and parliamentary democracy, then he cannot be called anti-national.””

Mr. Pawar appeared before retired Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, Jainarayan Patel, and former chief secretary of Maharashtra, Sumit Mullick. 

Mr. Pawar said, “In my personal opinion, the Vijay Stambh — war memorial at Koregaon — should be notified as an archeological monument. Its possession should be taken by the State government by paying a compensation to the caretaker. I suggest that the State raise a separate War Memorial in the honour of soldiers who have sacrificed their lives after Independence in wars with Pakistan and China. This will put an end to the controversy over some ex-servicemen who had placed the plaque consisting the names of the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in the Kargil War and the sanctity of the War Memorial — Vijay Stambh.”

Last week, Mr. Pawar had filed an affidavit that said, “In recent times, it has been observed that Section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code is often misused against people. The Section is invoked to suppress their liberty and to stifle any voice of dissent raised in a peaceful and democratic way. I propose to raise this issue at an appropriate forum like Parliament being a member of the Rajya Sabha.”

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2022 7:33:13 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/outcry-against-oppression-doesnt-make-a-person-an-anti-national-sharad-pawar/article65384984.ece