“My Request…”: Jailed Kerala Journalist’s Daughter’s Speech Is Viral


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Mehnaz made the speech during the Independence Day celebrations at her school.

New Delhi:

A video of the nine-year-old daughter of jailed Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, talking about the “freedom and rights of ordinary citizens”, has gone viral on social media as the nation celebrates 75 years of Independence.

Siddique Kappan has been in jail since 2020, when he was arrested on his way to UP’s Hathras to report on a 19-year-old’s gang-rape. He was charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

In the video, his daughter Mehnaz spoke about violence based on religion and politics and said it should be “rooted out with love and unity”.

“I am the daughter of a journalist who has been put behind bars, by being denied the basic civil rights available to all Indian citizens,” Mehnaz said in what appeared to be a speech at school on Monday.

Every Indian, she said, had the choice to decide what to speak, eat or which religion to profess. All this was possible due to the struggles and sacrifices of freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhagat Singh and countless others, she added.

“Remembering all those freedom fighters, my request is not to take away the freedom and rights of the ordinary citizens,” she said.

She also said that India’s pride should not be surrendered before anyone.

“Even the shadow of any unrest should be wiped out. We all should live as one life and should make every effort to take India to the top. We should dream of a better tomorrow without any differences and conflicts,” she said.

“As India steps into its 76th Independence day, on this special occasion, as an Indian with unwavering pride and authority, I would like to say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’,” she said.

Siddique Kappan, a reporter for Malayalam news portal Azhimukham, was arrested in October 2020 with three others while on his way to Hathras to report on a 19-year old Dalit woman who died after being gang-raped.

Police had said that he was trying to disturb law and order in Hathras. They had also alleged that the accused had links with the Popular Front of India (PFI). The journalist has maintained he is innocent and is being framed.

Earlier this month, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court rejected his bail application saying that he had “no work at Hathras”. 

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