New Delhi: The nationalism propounded by the ruling BJP is centralised despotism, Trinamool Congress member Sugata Bose said on Wednesday in the Lok Sabha while participating in a discussion on the Jawaharlal Nehru University controversy.
"I am a nationalist. But I do not vouch for the kind of nationalism propounded by the treasury benches. This nationalism is centralised despotism," Bose said.
Bose said although he is not a communist, he would support JNU students union leader Kanhaiya Kumar, a leftist, and other students for the sake of freedom of expression.
"The idea of India is not so brittle as to go away with a few slogans," Bose said, referring to the alleged anti-national slogans raised at the JNU campus on February 9.
Terming the government's crackdown on some JNU students a 'witch hunt', the Trinamool MP said if universities and students are attacked in this way, 'the legacy of the anti-colonial freedom struggle is undermined'.
"What must be avoided is criminality of dissent," he said.
Bose also accused the ruling dispensation of diverting the nation's attention from the core issues of governance.