National security does not get compromised when a few people shout slogans, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor today said, defending Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara’s clean chit to Amnesty International in a case of alleged sedition slapping which he contended was a “big mistake”.
“National security of our country is not going to be compromised by few people shouting slogans. We are stronger than that, we are bigger than that, we are better than that,” Tharoor told PTI on the sidelines of a conference on IPR organised by O P Jindal Global University (JGU) here.
“Charging Amnesty with sedition law was already a big mistake. The NGO has not advocated violence and no one at the conference did so,” he said, adding “we are not at war at the moment. We don’t have to think in terms of treason and all.”
The former diplomat advocated a law that criminalises any appeal or incitement to violence.
“What we need is a law that criminalises any appeal to violence and incitement to violence and encouragement to violence but not the expression of political opinions or opinions we don’t like,” Tharoor added.
Yesterday, Parameshwara had said that Amnesty has never involved itself in any kind of anti-national activity after the human rights organisation was slapped with sedition charges over an event held by it in Bengaluru where anti-India and anti-Army slogans were allegedly raised.
Tharoor, a Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram, while delivering his valedictory address to plenary session of the international conference on ‘Innovation for shared prosperity: IPRs, competition and standard setting in the ICT sector’ organised by JGU and Jindal Initiative on Research in IP and Competition, said the government should encourage local telecom manufacturers to invest in India.
“Most of India’s ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sector manufacturing in telecoms is relying on import and assembling and not on new developments and I would argue to our government that ‘Make in India’ should also include make something new in India,” he said.
“The best minds need to come together for a flexible, innovative and fresh approach to resolve the dilemmas around ICT. We don’t always have easy answers everywhere and I am pretty sure this international conference on ‘IPR, standard setting and completion in ICT sector’ has taken a step in the right direction to find all the answers,” he added.
In his address, Professor C Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor of JGU, said, “As a global university that is deeply committed to research, knowledge creation and capacity building, we are delighted to enable policy discussions that can reflect upon such issues in an intellectually rigorous manner.”
Professor Stephen Haber from Standford University hailed the scholarship programmes of JGU, saying he himself got into a college and studied because of certain scholarship programmes.