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JNU row: When Smriti Irani quoted Cicero to warn against 'treason from within'

New Delhi: Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani was at her scathing best while replying to a combined debate on Rohit Vemulla sucide and JNU sedition row in Lok Sabha Wednesday.Justifying Police action against those JNU

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
Updated on: February 25, 2016 15:36 IST
when smriti irani quoted cicero to warn against treason
when smriti irani quoted cicero to warn against treason from within

New Delhi: Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani was at her scathing best while replying to a combined debate on Rohit Vemulla sucide and JNU sedition row in Lok Sabha Wednesday.

Justifying Police action against those JNU students who allegedly raised anti-India slogans and praised Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, Smriti Irani warned against those who are harming the national interest from within the country.

Quoting Roman philosopher Marcus Tullias Cicero, Smriti Irani said “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.”

“For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear,” she added.

Read more: Are you with those who attacked Parliament or those who saved it? Anurag Thakur asks Rahul Gandhi

Explaining the reason behind quoting a Roman philosopher, Irani said that if she had quoted Chanakya, opposition would have accused her of saffronisation.

 
The HRD minister also warned against treating students as vote banks. She also said that police should be allowed to do its work in JNU sedition case row.

“This is my request to all. If we make a battlefield out of campuses, vote banks out of kids, what will a few astray students from JNU raise slogans about. This nation will be led to the brink of anarchy by a politics that makes an opportunity out a dead student. Let the law take its course please. Let the police do its work,” Irani said.