Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday requested conjuring the National Security Act (NSA) against patients having links with the Tablighi Jamaat who were allegedly badgering  clinical staff while in quarantine.

This is yet another incident where the State has used the draconian law, despite availability of alternative reliefs which are provided under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The use of such draconian laws is a means of curtailing Fundamental Rights which are otherwise granted by the State. In times of a pandemic, where access to Courts is not easily available, arbitrary use of such laws becomes more troubling.

Historical Roots of National Security Act,1950 – 

Post-independence India got its first preventive detention rule when the government headed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru enacted the Preventive Detention Act of 1950. The NSA is a close iteration of the 1950 Act. After the Preventive Detention Act expired on December 31, 1969, the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, brought in the controversial Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) in 1971 giving similar powers to the government. Though the MISA was repealed in 1977 after the Janata Party came to power, the successive government, led by Mrs. Gandhi, brought in the NSA.

Curtailing Rights using National Security Act – 

In the normal course, if a person is arrested, under the provisions of IPC he or she is guaranteed certain basic rights. These include the right to be informed of the reason for the arrest which is provided under Section 50 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr. PC). Similarly, Sections 56 and 76 of the Cr. PC also provides that a person has to be produced before a court within 24 hours of arrest. Additionally, Article 22(1) of the Indian Constitution states that an arrested person cannot be denied the right to consult, and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice. But none of these rights are available to a person detained under the NSA. A person could be kept in the dark about the reasons for his arrest for up to five days, and in exceptional circumstances not later than 10 days. Even when providing the grounds for arrest, the government can withhold information which it considers to be against public interest. The arrested person is also not entitled to the aid of any legal practitioner in any matter connected with the proceedings before an advisory board, which is constituted by the government for dealing with NSA cases.

Punishment under provisions of Indian Penal Code are clear and sufficient – 

Sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) provides for a jail term of six months and/or fine, Section 270 provides for a jail term of two years and/or fine. In Section 270, the word ‘malignantly’ indicates a deliberate intention on the part of the accused. During the coronavirus outbreak, penal provisions, such as Sections 188, 269 and 270 of the IPC, are being invoked to enforce the lockdown orders in various states. The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 also states that any person disobeying any regulation or order made under this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant).

An overreaction by the State? 

The National Security Act therefore seems to be an overreaction by the State as it violates nearly all due process rights, including most notably the presumption of innocence. The objective of the Act is to prevent terrorist attacks or respond to existential national crises because the seriousness of the threat supposedly excuses the limitations on fundamental rights. While most proponents internationally do not conceive of the use of preventive detention other than as an extraordinary measure in exceptional circumstances, India regularly uses preventive detention to respond to ordinary criminal matters. Such use cannot be justified in a democratic, constitutional order such as exists in India.

The NSA can be invoked against those who go against the defence of the state, relation of the state with foreign powers, security of the state, public order; and maintenance of essential supplies and services. These are serious offences and various sections of the Indian Penal Code can be used against the offenders and they can be charged under the same. The NSA allows the government to keep such serious offenders in custody without charging them for any of these serious offences. Using NSA in times of pandemic reflects the “easy way out” approach which the State uses to circumvent the procedure and process as prescribed in the Criminal Procedure Code and the one’s they have to follow to abide by the justice system. The use of such an act to curb the spread of COVID 19 disease is therefore arbitrary. There is an urgent need to review the use of the National Security Act in times of Pandemic

This article has been published here:

Use of National Security Act to curtail Coronavirus is an overreaction by the State

Kashmir: Trouble in Paradise.


At the start, I am extremely grief-stricken on the killing of 44 martyrs in the Pulwama District of Jammu and Kashmir. I Pray for the families of these martyrs and wish for them all the strength, support and courage.

I have come across certain posts on social media platforms wherein people have expressed their anger by stating that we should go on an all-out war with Pakistan, revoke Article 370, take away the subsidies given to Kashmiris and some have even gone to say that we should give away Kashmir. These are just some of the stupid comments I have come across and the list is never ending.

Firstly , these people should understand that it is very easy for us to say that India should do another surgical strike or wage a war against Pakistan while sitting in our living rooms and watching the news. Don’t tell the army what to do, as they know what to do better than us. The cost of war is extremely high and with that you do nothing but just put the life of so many army men at risk, more than it already is. Secondly, the revocation of article 370 or giving away the state to an already unstable country is not the solution. Kashmir is a part of India and will continue to be only if we understand the core issue revolving around Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmiris and Kashmiriyat. If there are martyrs, don’t forget they are innocent civilians who die every day in Kashmir (highest in 2018 in 71 years of Independence) and whose killing is justified under AFSPA. Feel the same aggression for the deaths of these people as well if you really consider Kashmir to be a part of India and take so much pride in it. A loss is a loss, whether it’s a 1 year old Kashmiri girl, A CRPF soldier or any other person.

Terrorism should end, the perpetrators of violence should be punished, whether it’s a Kashmiri Militant, An army officer or any other person and all terror groups should be annihilated.

However I believe we should ask ourselves as well as the government some important questions:


  • How did the usually secretive movement of CRPF battalions get leaked? Is it not an intelligence failure? How can a terrorist carrying 300 kilos of explosives get to strike at the centre of this convoy? How has our legendary surveillance failed here? Who is ruling Kashmir now and in last several years? Whose Intel is failing? Kashmir is under President’s rule for a year or more now, and was earlier for three years under PDP-BJP government.
  • A speeding vehicle laden with over 350 kgs of explosives, cruising down the wrong side in the most militarised zone in the country rams into a paramilitary convoy. The death toll goes up. Our sentiments get instigated. The media for few weeks stops talking about corrupt activities of the BJP and the Rafaele deal or the citizenship bill. We notice mass hate against Kashmiris. And all of this is happening just two months before the Indian General Election? Coincidence? Sure.
  • Further, why is Kashmir in such a mess today, worse than any situation since 2000? There was a huge turnout (72 per cent) and the large majority of seats were won by PDP in Kashmir and BJP in Jammu (53 out of 87 seats). An unlikely PDP-BJP government was sworn in, and in Lal Maidan of Srinagar, Indian PM Modi and Kashmir CM Mufti promised a Rs 10,000-crore development package to the people. But, not even 10 per cent of it saw the light of the day; PDP and BJP kept bickering, and BJP unilaterally withdrew the support, and the government fell. President’s rule was imposed.
  • Why was the huge turnout of electorate in last assembly and a historic government formation was turned into an opportunity lost? Those who are ruling Kashmir and at the Centre need to give a white paper on what they have actually done for the people, and why this situation persists today. Indigenous militancy within J&K is currently complimenting cross-border terrorism, and sadly so.
  • Why are even civilians turning against the government and joining home grown militancy? If Kashmir is bleeding, why is the rest of India not disturbed enough? If Kashmir is an integral part of India, why isn’t there any political solution in spite of the peaceful polls four years ago?
  • And wasn’t the terror funding finished by demonetization? From where do the terrorists get so much arms and money? What purpose have the surgical strikes served? Or was this merely for political optics and use in Bollywood and in political campaigns by the ruling party which is so regrettable indeed? There were surgical strikes done many times earlier, but no government chose to politically capitalise army action in the past, as is being done by the current government.


The Indian television news media, by and large, shamelessly in quest of the TRPs, is milking the human and terror crisis of Kashmir, and calling for war with Pakistan, which is decidedly a rogue and a nuclear state.

No, a full-scale no-holds-barred war cannot be a solution. It will aggravate the situation, can lead to a high number of civilian casualties on both the sides, and can lead to use of weapons of mass destruction.

We have to understand a painful reality of the day. A disturbed Kashmir is in the interest of Pakistan so that it gets more money and arms from the US, using Kashmir crisis as an alibi. It also ensures the stranglehold of the Pakistani army and ISI on the civilian society, business at large and bureaucracy there. On the other hand, a disturbed Kashmir gives India the opportunity to amass more arms, and as we know, India is the biggest importer of arms and ammunitions in the world (still short on many crucial military infrastructure). It helps some Indian political forces to polarise votes in the elections season. A disturbed Kashmir helps the army and the local police to get higher budget and a free run for their actions (sometimes needed, sometimes exceeded). A disturbed Kashmir is great for the terrorists to raise resources globally, and run their propaganda machinery. A disturbed Kashmir is great for local politicians and Azad Kashmir apologists as their political nuisance value remains intact only then. Only the ordinary Kashmiri stands to lose on all fronts with the mess there. That’s the sad scenario.

Yes, terrorism must be crushed. Let military do their job professionally. But the people of Kashmir must also be won over. That cannot be done by pellet attacks on children. That cannot be done by an ordinary Kashmiri who came to vote, but was put up as a shield on an army jeep. That cannot be done by routinely clamping down on media and internet in the valley. That cannot be done by putting Kashmir against Jammu politically. That cannot be done by standing for rapists just because they are Hindus while the little child raped is a Muslim girl.

For now, I can’t do anything more than feel sad, light a candle, donate some money for the families of these martyrs. But the least I can do is ask the right questions to the right people and spread awareness on the issue and help people to think about the whole issue rationally. If we continue to believe only what the Indian Media wants to show us and not understand the other side the issue, the problem of Kashmir can never be solved. How we see Kashmir and what we feel for it as citizens of this country is extremely important and will play a major role in deciding the future of J&K. For it is our emotions which are used by these political parties to take their propaganda forward. It’s the time to have a balanced perspective, it’s time to educate, it’s time to empower, and it’s time to change.


I came back to college on the 6th of December 2017. The previous month had been one of the lowest phases of my life. I faced questions and dilemmas everyday without getting any answers. For the first time in my life I was uncertain about something. Uncertain about my own self , my career , my college and everything that revolved around it. The biggest question I faced was that of returning to Bangalore. I was tired, I didn’t want to come back. I was finding excuses , reasons and what not , to just stay home. College reopened on the 2nd of December, my sister’s engagement was on the 28th of November , so I extended my college break until then. And subsequently I asked my father for some more time. till the 5th of December I did not get any answer. Whether I want to go back or not or take a break year. 5th December I received a call from college and they asked me to join back as soon as possible. I took the next flight to Bangalore. I hugged my grandmother really tightly before leaving and cried a lot. With a heavy heart I left for Bangalore , while facing extreme anxiety and nervousness , I cried in the flight and after landing I called my mother , told her about my condition during the flight and kept talking to her till I reached my accommodation. It was tough to face everything else again , the people I ran from and the place I had seemed to hate. The next day I got ready for college and with a lot of fear walked towards the college gate. I met my teachers , entered the class and felt slightly better. I realised people were concerned about me here and also had immense love for me. As I was sitting , here came a fair , chubby and dynamic lady , who shouted after looking at me and hugged me tight. At that moment I was so lost , that I didn’t realise what exactly happened. But I won’t deny that the hug was all that I needed at that point in time. It gave me strength , courage and made me feel like everything will get fine soon. My father had given me time till the 1st of February , 2018 , to decide whether I wish to get back to Delhi or continue staying in Bangalore. 

Days passed and this woman helped me complete all my submissions as I had to do 6 of them in 3 days. She offered help herself and asked me to sit with her as she saw me low and upset. She made me happy , her presence gave me a feeling of home. One day , we were sitting together in the auditorium as a matter of coincidence and I started venting out all that I had in my heart and mind. It was a very strangest thing for me to do as I don’t share my problems even with the closest people in my life. I am very secretive when it comes to my troubles and struggles but while sitting next to her I just felt I could say anything without having the fear of being judged. I went on and and on and she being the kind soul she is did not even stop me once and kept nodding her it. Subsequently  she told me that she has been facing the same emotions being away from home but as she had no option , this is where she had to be. So she was struggling too , but she accepted the situation and was fighting it out. She told me everything will be fine by the 1st of February and ‘Inshallah’ I’ll decide the best for myself. 

We sat together , spent time together and everything seemed to be getting fine. I was finally laughing and smiling without hesitation. The burden on my shoulder seemed light. We had our college break from the 23rd and I was supposed to fly for Goa and she was supposed to go to Saudi Arabia for the holiday. For me to miss people in my life is not an everyday thing, but for the first time rather than missing Delhi and my home , I was missing her because she made me confident and gave me the courage to fight the situation I was in. She gave me the faith that my mother would give me if she was by my side then. She felt like home away from home , the same comfort , courage , confidence that I felt in the arms of my mother , her mere presence gave me all these feelings In abundance. For the people who knew me , for them to believe that I am writing this must be tough. But yes , that was it. Miracles happen and she seemed no less than any. She gave me all reasons to stay in Bangalore. She made me happy. Made me re-realise the pain my parents have gone through to see me succeed and how passionate I have been about this dream of mine since class 6th and I just , I just can’t let go all of it so easily. 

28th of January , I was still there. Still confused. Not 100% convinced whether I wish to stay in Bangalore or get back home. My father reminded me of 1st February everyday. On the 28th of January , we were walking on a cross over bridge and she asked me whether I decided something or no. Of course amongst so many people she was the only one who knew what I was going through exactly. I told her that I am still confused , have no positive or negative  vibe and don’t know what to do and tell my father. The next thing that happened and the line told to me by her has come about to change my life drastically , she said – “Shubham I don’t know you well enough and I am not sure whether you give me the position to say this , but I am getting  a vibe that you should stay here. If Allah has sent you here he has a reason, and you must find and later respect that reason, you’ll do extremely well here , rest , upto you. Make the best choice”. Yes , Miracles happen. 

She went inside the restaurant and told her I’ll come inside after a while. I called my father that very moment and told him that I am not coming back to Delhi. I shall stay in Bangalore. Yes , miracles do happen.

From that day I found a beautiful friend , a beautiful person, a beautiful soul who became a part of my life and made everything fine. We spent most of our time together , the thing which we connected most on was food. Nearly every meal was outside , everyday together.

Haagen Dazs , Starbucks , Kawa kharpo , Asia Kitchen , Sanju , #MGRC , #RROO (you know why) , Keema fries and so many things will always be one of the fondest memories of my life , and I hope we continue to make more memories , live more moments together and seize everyday.

One of the fondest memories of our journey will always be the final of basketball match. I was nervous for the first time as I had returned to the basketball court after 6 months and reaching to the finals was a big thing. I was nervous, had anxiety. She didnt stay back for any match due to some personal reasons but for the final she did. It’s a moment I can never forget. Just before the match began I looked around and my eyes went on her to possibly get thumbs up before the match began. But what I saw was possibly the best sight I have ever seen. Her eyes were closed and she was making a dua. Until then I didn’t know for what it was for , but in blinked my eye thrice to capture the moment. After the match I asked her whether it was for me or no and she said I was as nervous as you were because I knew how important this match was for you. That’s when I knew I won at friendship, and I have one of the best friends one can ask for.

She’s been there for me no matter what. Stood by me and above all has made me a better version of myself. Today, I am a calmer, wiser and a more composed person because of her. She has taught me the value of a lot of things and she continues to push me for the better so that I can become the best version of myself.

She is carefree with me , she shares most things with me only , she says she is the most comfortable in sharing everything and anything under the sun with me and that my presence makes her feel complete and happy. And today I promise you Sarah Ayreen Mir (she has a lovely name and I love calling her by her full name ) that I will always value and respect the immense amount of comfort you have with me and the faith you show in me. I will stand by you, and always know that no matter where you go , your stupid boy will always wish the best for you , stand by your side , trouble you , make you laugh at the oddest times and will try and bring out the best version of you so that you achieve all heights because you are destined for the best.

I wish you all the happiness, success and the best of everything. May you always get what you desire and chase all your dreams and go places. Always know that I might pray for myself and other people in my life In general, but if there’s one person for whose happiness and well-being I will pray for everyday , no matter where I am , what I am doing , for you are one of the most beautiful persons I have ever come across, the best of all , today , tomorrow , always.

Keeping all cake cutting, gifts and surprises for you aside , I am gifting you one of the most special things I could , my writing. Writing is like a dream for me and you know it better than anyone else. I always wanted to start a blog and today on your birthday, I gift myself this blog and you , my first blog post. No matter what happens, this will always stay, just we will, by each other, for each other, always.

Heres to creating more miracles together.

Happy birthday My Ironman.