Here’s something about #FoE: it’s NOT a natural/human right, despite whatever UN charters and US war movies say.
It’s a conditional right, that is afforded by the governments- via Constitution, in the case of India. So you have this FoE only as long as you are holding an Indian passport/voter card- or that of any other NATION that grants this freedom.
So it follows the natural logic and progression, I think, that if it’s our nationality and constitution that give us FoE, not our state of being human (in case o human rights), so obviously if we want it, protecting OUR NATION should be of paramount importance, if FoE stands most important for us.
The state doesn’t manage/control FoE- and it SHOULD NOT- it is the ‘guardian’ of EVERYBODY’S FoE: and hence has the power to intervene/check when one person’s FoE endangers everybody else’s- in ANY way.
THAT’S exactly where Gurmehar Kaur- and Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid as well- fail.
They’re up in revolt, by their exercise of FoE, against the very institution that grants them the FoE: it’s akin to using my seat on a tree branch, to cut the same branch.
I can do it for some time, but at the end of the day, I end up harming not only my own long-term interests but the same of others as well- who do NOT want the branch to be cut at all, much less being cut by someone sitting on the branch.
When exercising the FoE- especially on sensitive matters, it should be done with maturity, and the speaker themselves should be the one responsible for preventing it from harming ONE THING: the existence of the state itself because when there will not be the state, there won’t be any FoE whatsoever.
That’s why sedition- or any sort of attempts to even humanize or soften the crackdowns on seditious- is met with such an apparently disproportionate severity: it’s for the long-term preservation of FoE of a greater number of people.