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Can hate speech be called freedom of expression, asks Arun Jaitley

Can hate speech be called freedom of expression, asks Arun Jaitley

Keeping up the offensive against the opposition for targeting the government for acting against the Jawaharlal Nehru University students, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley claimed that anti-national speech cannot be termed as free speech.

In the name of academic freedom, can sedition become a part of free speech? Can hate speech be called free speech?," Jaitley asked. "Should we allow different ideas, of course we must! Should there be a situation when only one ideology must be allowed, No there must be not!," he added.

He also questioned the political parties for supporting those who called the handging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and Yakub Memon "judicial killings". "The core question is, are we going to give respectability to those whose primary ideology is to break this country? Let us be very clear about the kind of functions that were being organised in JNU and Hyderabad University,"

He also appealed to the opposition parties to join hands in the fight against terror. "Congress should be more vigorous in speaking against terror than BJP, we should all speak in the same voice," he asserted.

Over allegations that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in alliance in Jammu and Kashmir with Peoples Democratic Party which has also raised questions over calls Afzal's hanging, Jaitley said that the alliance was a "compromise in national interest. Congress has done it on an earlier occasion with NC, we have done it now."

first published:February 25, 2016, 18:46 IST