“Greetings Dear Audience, Happy Independence Day from my heart to all. I am daughter of Siddique Kappan, journalist put inside a dark cell violating all freedom of a citizen….”

Journalist Siddique Kappan’s nine-year old daughter, Mehnaz, gave a moving speech on the meaning of freedom on the occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day celebrations in her school, the Government Lower Primary School at Nottappuram in Vengara, Kerala.

The journalist has been incarcerated since October 5, 2020, merely for travelling to Hathras to cover the gruesome gangrape and murder of a young Dalit woman. He is currently lodged in Lucknow jail. Last month, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court rejected his bail application. His lawyers have been trying to file an appeal against the order in the Supreme Court of India.

Kappan is amongst the over dozen journalists and mediapersons imprisoned in India for their work. See the list compiled by Free Speech Collective.

Kappan’s daughter paid tribute to Gandhi, Nehru and Bhagat Singh and all the other leaders who strove for India’s Independence. She confidently spoke of the freedom that Indians enjoy today – to speak, to eat or the religion they follow. Yet, there are people who face violence due to divisive politics of caste and religion, she said, wisely adding that the freedom of the common citizens of India should not be taken away from them.

Listen to her:

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