March 1, Imphal: A public talk on the topic ‘Nation and its Dicontents: Free Speech to Repressive Laws’ was organised in Munipur University to show solidarity to the students of JNU who are demanding free speech and right to protest in a secular country. The talk was held at MU bus stand (coffee corner). Dr Chinglen Maisnam, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, MU talked on the Rise of the fundamentalist forces, Babloo Loitongbam, Director of Human Rights Alert talked on Shrinking of Democratic Spaces, Dr. Homen Thangjam, Assistant Professor, Maharaj Bodhachandra College spoke on Nation and Nation State, Emerging India. Dr. Malem Ningthouja, Fellow, Indian Institute of Advance Studies, Shimla also spoke on Political Economy of Repressive Laws with some inspirational protest songs from Imphal Talkies band member Akhu Chingakham.
”A culture of intolerance is gradually creeping under the present regime. Public debate and criticism are the basic tenets of democracy whereas silencing and persecuting dissent are the hallmark of authoritarianism. The present trend to suppress democratic space by the fundamentalist forces across India poses a major threat to the much desired idea of India as a nation state. It is high time that the intellectuals in the state to ask themselves serious questions concerning academic freedom and responsibility. We, the concerned students in Solidarity with JNU and Freedom of Dissent, strongly condemn any attempt of ruling regime to shrink democratic spaces by criminalizing dissenters.” added the discourse.