A lot of heat was generated as Prashant Bhushan, a member of Team Anna, was beaten up by some youngsters for his remarks on Kashmir. Prashant Bhushan who styles himself as an ‘activist-lawyer' is a known supporter of Naxal-Maoist groups giving them legal help in their time of need. He came to limelight recently as a prominent member of Team Anna when the Anna's movement for Janlokpal bill gathered momentum. But soon he courted controversy for supporting plebiscite in Kashmir and going to the extent of allowing Kashmir to secede if the people of Kashmir wished so in the referendum. The statement has infuriated the people and three youths barged into his chamber in the Supreme Court and manhandled him in full view of the camera. An little known group Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena claimed responsibility for the attack for his advocacy of plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir. Its Facebook page said, "we hit Prashant Bhushan hard in his chamber in Supreme Court. If you will try to break my nation, I will break your heads."
While the media was embroiled in their concern for growing ‘intolerance' in the society, they could not sidetrack the issue of growing misuse of the ‘freedom of speech' guaranteed in the constitution. The moot point is whether the ‘freedom of speech' may be stretched to the length that encouragement to seditious activites in the country is allowed unchecked and people like Geelani, Arundhati and Bhushan will play with the territorial integrity of the nation with impunity. The statement of Bhushan not only encourages seditious activities, it tantamount to violation of the constitution which rejects any provision of referendum in the country and also goes against the collective will of the nation which was manifest in the unanimous resolution passed by the parliament declaring Kashmir to be an integral part of the country. But it is a pity that Indian government has failed to proceed stringently against such remarks and the people who are coming out openly against the separatist and secessionist elements.
There should be a bottom line that the territorial integrity of the nation cannot be compromised. In the absence of such measures and failure of the Indian government to act agasint disruptive elements youths of the country will be compelled to take law in their hands. It is high time that the government should act lest our youth are forced to tread the path of resisting such elements on their own.