Students from Chennai's Asian College of Journalism came together in a bid to show solidarity with the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, who are protesting against the crackdown on freedom of speech and the arrest of JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar for sedition by the Delhi police. Condemning the violence against journalists at the Patiala House court, students held a peaceful protest with sloganeering.
The demonstration also included speeches condemning governmental actions which, students say, have curbed the right to have a free opinion and is an assault on dissent. “As students of ACJ, we're part of an institute that imparts journalism, and the basic ethos of it is under threat. We need to provide space for other opinions to exist,” says Sharminder Kour, a student.
Apart from recalling instances of journalists being bashed up and threatened, students also stood by JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar's speech and expressed their thoughts on nationalism. “This is not the first time an alternate opinion is being defended regardless of whether everyone agrees with it or not. If we nip at the bud an atmosphere of healthy debate in a university, what will become of dissent?” says Sushmita Ramakrishnan, another student of the college.