If the government feels that students are wrong, then it can engage in a debate with them, but it is absolutely not right to have them beaten up by the police in their campus, feels filmmaker Kabir Khan.
Khan was speaking to IANS on Tuesday, when he opened up on the incident of police brutality on the students of Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia University last month. The students were beaten up by the police while staging a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA.
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Khan, an alumnus of Jamia, told IANS: "I feel strongly about these issues. It was, for me, a very uncomfortable visual when I watched those students of Jamia walking out with their hands in the air. I feel students have an absolute right to dissent, students have a right to protest. If you stop students from protesting, then it is the death of democracy. How can you prevent them from expressing dissent?"
The filmmaker recently took to the streets of Mumbai along with several other Bollywood personalities to join the common people protesting against the CAA.
Talking about the incident of police brutality on Jamia students, he added: "If the students don't like something and they want to talk about it, you cannot stop them from doing so. If you think they are wrong, you can debate with them. But don't have the police suppress them and beat them up in their campus. That's not the culture we want."
Khan also expressed shock at the thrashing of JNU students by masked outsiders in Delhi last week.
Talking about the incident he shared: "All of us, as we grow up, as we start working, we all become a little corrupted and indifferent. But students are the idealistic future of our country. Our university campuses are the future of this country. What they produce will be the way India will be 10, 20 or 30 years from now on. I think it's very important to respect that."
The filmmaker said he feels students are showing us the path to become more brave and courageous as a society. He expressed: "I'm so glad that students across the country are registering their protest, making all of us braver and more courageous in being able to express our opinion."
On the work front, Kabir Khan is all set for the release of his web series "The Forgotten Army: Azaadi Ke Liye", which narrates the story of the soldiers of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's Azad Hind Fauj or the Indian National Army (INA). Starring Sunny Kaushal, TJ Bhanu, Rohit Chaudhary and debutant actress Sharvari, the web series airs on Amazon Prime videos from January 24.
Khan is also readying for his upcoming feature film "'83". [By Ahana Bhattacharya]