Social media becomes new battleground for pro, anti free speech groups

  • Soumya Pillai, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 17, 2016 08:58 IST has seen multiple petitions both supporting and condemning what happened on the JNU campus.

The last few days have seen a surge in petitions on — a platform which enables people to start online campaigns — both supporting and condemning what happened on the JNU campus.

The numbers show that the number of people who have come out and strongly condemned the students for allegedly raising ‘anti-national’ slogans was far more than those who support the student action.

One of the most popular petitions, ‘Setup Enquiry Commission and up to 10 years of Imprisonment for JNU Anti-National Students’, has garnered 4,357 signatures. The petition was started four days ago by Prateek Kataria.

Another petition — ‘My tax be spared from feeding JNU jehadis’ — was started three days ago and has managed to get 1,615 signatures by Tuesday afternoon. This petition was closely followed by one that read ‘Remove subsidy from JNU’, started by Ankesh Kumar, which has received 1,334 signatures so far.

“As a taxpayer, I am disturbed with the hate speech made at JNU recently. I don’t want my hard earned money to be used to benefit such people,” one of the petitions read.

Representatives from, too, said that there have been a lot of opinions pouring in from both sides.

“The JNU issue has seen massive traction at People are actively debating the issue and putting forth different opinions. There were several petitions started both for and against the protests and the subsequent police action in JNU,” said a representative from

‘Say no to police action in JNU and all universities’, was started three days ago and has 3,425 supports. The petition, started by Shuddhabrata Sengupta, is a statement by noted educators, artists, and writers, against police action inside the JNU campus.

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