Jailed journo Kappan’s 9 year daughter makes a stirring speech at her school on ID  

By Special Correspondent

New Delhi: Imprisoned Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan’s 9 year -old daughter gave a stirring speech at her school in Kerala on Monday on the occasion of Independence Day. She urged everyone to stand up for their rights and condemned attacks on them “in the name of religion, colour, and politics.”

“I am Mehnaz Kappan, daughter of Siddique Kappan, a journalist who has been put behind bars and denied all rights allowed to a citizen,” the Class IV student, the youngest of Kappan’s three children, said at the GLP School in Vengara, Malappuram district.

“On this day when the great Indian nation has entered the 76th year of Independence, let me say as a proud Indian, ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’,” Mehnaz said.

According to The Telegraph, the young girl emphasised in her address that many people’s sacrifices led to the liberties that Indians currently enjoy.

“The freedom we enjoy today is the result of the sacrifices of Gandhiji, Nehru, Bhagat Singh and innumerable other noble souls and revolutionaries. Today, everyone can choose what to speak, what to eat, what religion to follow. There is freedom of expression,” she said.

“Every Indian has the right to oppose anyone who tells them to get out of the country,” she continued, making a reference to the usual order that people in the Right-wing ecosystem give to individuals who do not share their worldview.

“The dignity of the great Indian nation must not be surrendered before anyone. But even today, smokes of unrest can be seen, the consequence of which is the attacks in the name of religion, colour and politics. These should be uprooted by remaining united.

“We should wipe out even the reflection of any unrest. We should live together and take India to greater heights, and dream of a better tomorrow minus all conflicts.”

“Jai Hind, Jai Bharat” was how Mehnaz concluded her address.

Mehnaz ended her speech with “Jai Hind, Jai Bharat”.

She later told The Telegraph that her favourite subject was mathematics and that she never lost an opportunity to deliver a public speech or participate in a speaking competition.

She has a justification: “When I grow up, I want to be a lawyer.”

Mehnaz always expressed her thoughts, according to her mother Raihanath Kappan, who has been struggling against the odds to get her husband released on bail.

“When this opportunity came to address the Independence Day gathering at her school, Mehnaz grabbed it because she loves public speaking,” Raihanath said.

On October 5, 2020, Kappan was stopped together with three other people, including the car’s driver, as they were en route to cover the fallout from the rape and death of a Dalit teen in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. Since then, he has been imprisoned on charges of attempting to stir up civil unrest and violating the UAPA anti-terror law.

Kappan’s plea for bail was recently denied by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, which ruled that the journalist had “no work in Hathras” and that his trip with “co-accused persons who don’t belong to the media fraternity” was a significant factor working against him.

Kappan has refuted the police’s claim that he belongs to the Popular Front of India, which is not an illegal group to begin with.

When he was detained, Kappan was secretary of the Delhi branch of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists an

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