The Hindu newspaper has exhibited bias in the case of Arundhati Roys speech on J&K.
Arundhati Roy on Oct 21 had said in a conference “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this.” BJP, the main opposition party of India had strongly opposed the statement and demanded strongest possible action against Roy. The law minister of the ruling Congress party was very unhappy over her comment. He said “Arundhati’s remark over sovereignty of Jammu and Kashmir was unfortunate. Freedom of speech can not violate patriotic sentiments”. The law ministry also confirmed that a case of sedition can be initiated against the booker prize winner author and socialite [SamayLive].
The Hindu news paper came out strongly in support of Arundhati Roy. It advocated that the speech is within the purview of Freedom of Speech. The news paper in its editorial deplored the demand for action against her. It termed the angry reactions as zealous hyper-patriotic. It considered the demand for sedition charges against her as outrageous. The newspaper called Section 124 (A) of the Indian Penal Code which could be invoked for exciting “disaffection” towards or bringing “hatred or contempt” against the government that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment as an archaic section. It tried to justify her remarks by comparing her statements to that of the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. It advised central government to deny reports that it is considering pressing sedition charges against Roy and Geelani. It also advised courts to apply their mind and refuse to entertain any petition against her concluding such petitions as frivolous and vexatious.
The Hindu news paper makes an attempt to extend the scope of the Freedom of speech to include Roy’s speech simultaneously trying to undermine the sedition laws. In the process, it blames Indian government for the violence in Kashmir and repeats allegations of human right violations against Indian state.
The editorial is yet another example of inherent bias in The Hindu against Indian Nationalism.