Today anti-nationals are those who speak against government: Justice Shah

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The nationalism that forced one to stand up for the national anthem at a movie theatre was questioned by the former chief justice of the Delhi high court, A P Shah. Delivering the M N Roy memorial lecture on free speech, Justice Shah asked why is what should be eaten being prescribed.

Former chief justice of the Delhi High Court, A P Shah

"Unfortunately, our institutions of learning are under attack today and there is a concerted attempt to destroy any independent thought," Shah said.

Sadly, in this country I love, if anyone holds a view that is different from the government's acceptable view, they are immediately dubbed as anti-national, he added.

Anti-national was being used to intimidate and beat down voices of dissent and criticism. More worrying is that it can also be used to slap sedition charges, he also added.

On the Supreme Court's verdict on the national anthem, Justice Shah said that, it is important to remember that the right to free speech and expression also includes the right not to speak or express. The court under the guise of law has stepped in and restricted our fundamental rights, he also said.

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