It has been more than 10 days since the arrest of a university student in New Delhi on charges of sedition because he was present at a campus event where anti-India slogans were shouted.

Since then, the slogans and the arrest have split Indians — between those who call the government action an assault on free speech and democracy, and those who accuse the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) of harbouring anti-national dissidents in the name of campus activism.

In the prevailing climate of chest-thumping patriotism, you would think being called an “anti-national” would be a dreaded label in India right now. But many liberals and supporters of JNU are proudly embracing the phrase “anti-national” as an act of defiance against the authorities.

This weekend, some Indians launched a clone of the famous Ice Bucket Challenge — each person declares himself an “anti-national” online and nominates five others as “anti-national.”

There is a threat if you break the chain. If you do not accept and respond by nominating others within 24 hours, the anti-nationals “will come and sing revolutionary songs of freedom and throw roses at you.”

On Twitter, some have even changed their handle to “Anti-National.”

Others are writing columns and blogs listing reasons why they are anti-nationals. In a newspaper column titled “I am proud to be ‘anti-national,’ ” journalist Rajdeep Sardesai wrote that he enjoys eating beef, believes in an expanded definition of the right to free speech and does not regard the slogans at JNU as seditious.

At least two news websites now offer a quick checklist to determine if you are an anti-national. Questions include: are you a liberal; secular; rational; and do you have a scientific temperament?

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit wrote a counter in a blog post titled “Being anti-national is the new fad for liberals.”

“Who needs enemies across the borders, when you have these people working overtime for them?” Pandit wrote.

On Sunday, hundreds of military veterans gathered in New Delhi for a “Save The Nation” march against anti-nationals.

Some Indians want to coin a new phrase to describe who they are.