Prime Minister Narendra Modi who asked for suggestions for his Independence Day speech on Tuesday received one from Jawaharlal Nehru University scholar Umar Khalid.
Khalid, who narrowly escaped a gun attack on Monday when he visited the Constitution Club of India in New Delhi, urged the Prime Minister to assure in speech on Independence Day that critics of government won’t be targeted.
“Modiji, you had asked for suggestions for your I-Day speech. I have a suggestion to make – can you please state that you guarantee that there will be no attack on those who criticize your government and its many failures,” Khalid posted on Twitter.
In his Facebook post in response to PM Modi’s solicitation, Khalid, who is fighting a legal battle since he was charged with sedition in 2016, said the attempted gun attack on him on Monday “can’t scare us into silence”. He added, “What does ‘freedom’ even mean if the citizens of this country have to be ready to die for their ‘crime’ of just being vocal against injustice.
“The fact that two days before Independence Day, in one of the most ‘high security’ zones of the national capital, an armed assailant could dare to attack me in broad daylight only goes onto show the brazen impunity that some people feel they enjoy under the present regime.”
The real culprits, Khalid said are “those who from their seats of power have been breeding an atmosphere of hatred, of bloodlust and fear. The real culprits are those who have provided an atmosphere of complete impunity for assassins and mob lynchers. The real culprits are those spokespersons of the ruling party (BJP) and the prime time anchors and TV channels who have spread canards about me, branded me anti-national based on lies and virtually incited a lynch-mob against me. This has specifically made my life extremely vulnerable.”
He said even after the police have registered an offence under Section 307 and Arms Act, BJP workers were trying to suggest that the attack never happened or worse that I engineered it on my own?
“This hate campaign against me has been going on for last two years. There is no evidence, only lies. There has been no charge-sheet, only media-trial,” Khalid added.
Khalid said the arrests made in the Gauri Lankesh murder case have exposed the hands of “Hindutva terror outfits”.
“Tomorrow while there will be once again a shower of high voltage lies and sugar-coated jumlas from the ramparts of Dalmia Group’s Red Fort, our fight for real freedom and dignity, and making the dreams of Bhagat Singh and Babasaheb Ambedkar into a reality will continue with greater resolve.”