LONDON/NEW DELHI, Feb 26 - Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said there is an �alliance of subversion� on certain Indian campuses and that the ultra-Left and separatists are speaking the same language. They must also allow others with different opinions to speak, he said while delivering a talk at London School of Economics on Saturday.
The minister said it was his personal belief that �free speech� in society needs to be debated, adding that �violence is however not the method�.
The comment comes days after a violent clash outside Delhi University�s Ramjas College between activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad � the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh�s students wing � and other students groups on February 22 during a march against forced suspension of an event a day earlier.
�I personally believe that free speech in India, and in any society, has to be debated. If you believe you have free speech to assault the sovereignty of the country, then be ready to concede free speech to counter that,� Jaitley said.
�Violence is not the method; no group can and should use violence... there is an alliance of subversion which is taking place. The separatists and the ultra-Left are speaking the same language in certain university campuses. So, they must be willing to allow others with a different opinion to put a counter viewpoint,� he said.
�I find this absolutely strange that an argument is being raised that I have free speech to advocate that India should be broken into pieces and those who oppose me are hindering that right to free speech. Well, they too have a right to free speech,� Jaitley said.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister�s Office Jitendra Singh, speaking on similar lines to a news channel in New Delhi, said the groups advocating freedom of speech were not allowing others to speak. He said abusing the sovereignty of India had become a �fashion�.
�If this is a sample of the kind of tolerance practised by this lobby, one wonders, one shudders, what kind of tolerance do they expect from others,� Jitendra Singh told Times Now news channel. � IANS