The 9-year-old daughter of journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested and has been in jail since October 2020, made the Independence Day speech at Nottaparam GLP Government School.

Mehnaz Kappan in an Independence Themed outfit, giving speechScreengrab
news Independence Day Monday, August 15, 2022 - 15:46

“I am Mehnaz Kappan. Daughter of journalist Siddique Kappan, a citizen who has been forced into a dark room by breaking all of the freedom of a citizen,” is how the 9-year-old daughter of Siddique Kappan started her Independence Day speech, on Monday, August 15. Siddique Kappan is a Delhi-based Malayali journalist, who was arrested under UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) and has been in jail since October 2020, after he tried to go to Hathras to report on the rape and murder of a Dalit woman by dominant caste men.

In a moving speech, pointing out that the freedom we enjoy is a result of struggle, she said that the freedom of Indian citizens should not be taken away from them. “On this great occasion as the great Nation of India steps into its 76th Independence year, let me say this as an Indian with unwavering pride and authority – Bharat Mata Ki Jai. The freedom we enjoy today is the result of the sacrifices of Gandhiji, Nehru, Bhagat Singh and countless other great revolutionaries and revolutionary heroes,” she said.

Further, she continued, “Today every Indian has a choice: on what they should speak, what they should eat, what religion they should choose. They have a choice and freedom of expression in all of this. Every Indian has the right to oppose anyone who asks them to leave. The dignity of the great nation of India, which was resurrected on August 15, should not be compromised in front of anyone. However, there is unrest at places, even today. This is reflected in the violence erupting based on religion, caste, politics. All these must be weeded out by all of us together with love and unity. Even the shadow of unrest must be erased away. Together, we must live this life.”

“We still have to take India to the pinnacle of excellence. We must dream of a better tomorrow without division and discord. Remembering all the brave patriots who fought for the freedom of India, I stop here by saying that the freedom of the common citizens of India should not be taken away. Jai Hind, Jai Bharat,” the child said during her speech in Nottaparam GLP Government School.

The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) and Siddique’s wife have been fighting for the journalist’s release since his arrest. The family, on several occasions, has said that the Uttar Pradesh police foisted the case on him. The Uttar Pradesh police had first booked him under the charges of breach of peace and later under the UAPA.

Read: Fake case against me: Siddique Kappan speaks to media for first time since arrest

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