Skip to main content

No difference between BJP, Congress, Trinamool or AIADMK in imposing "anti-democratic" sedition law: PUCL

By Our Representative
People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), India's premier human rights organization, has said that there is little difference between political party in power in Indian states seeking to impose “coercive, anti-democratic, sedition provision of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to silence dissent and crush criticism.”
In a statement, issued against the backdrop of sedition being applied on Amnesty International India, which organized a programme on Kashmiri families in Banguluru, PUCL has said, whether it is BJP government invoking sedition provisions against Dr Binayak Sen in Chhattisgarh or the AIADMK government invoking sedition laws against peaceful, anti-nuclear protestors in Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu, the trend is not very different.
Among those who suffered because of the archaic sedition law, says PUCL, include cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, arrested in Maharashtra, or the case launched by the Trinamool government in West Bengal against academics.
In the last one year, the PUCL says, sedition was imposed on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar in Delhi, Tamil folk singer Kovan in Tamil Nadu for criticising the government’s liquor policy, and against Hardik Patel for rallying the pro-quota struggle involving Patels or Patidars in Gujarat.
Underling that the latest to join this long list of “infamous” sedition cases is the one against Amnesty International India, launched by the Congress government in Karnataka. It adds, “In all these cases, what weighed were political considerations of the ruling parties and governments dealing a death blow to the rule of law and functioning of the criminal justice system.”
Condemning the actions of the Bengaluru police in foisting the sedition case against Amnesty and unnamed staff for holding a meeting on August 13 on “human rights abuses in Kashmir in which families of victims”, PUCL regrets, “That the Karnataka police chose to register a FIR highlights the dangers of arming the state with such draconian laws like the sedition law.”
The August 13 event was held against the backdrop of the Amnesty report “Denied: Failures in accountability for human rights violations by security force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir”. Says the report, “The report focused on the travails of families of persons who lost their loved ones due to excesses by security forces. The report is in the public domain.”
“Families of victims of State violence were present to narrate in first person, the situation in Kashmir and the difficulties in claiming justice and accountability in cases where innocent people are killed in encounters or enforced disappearances”, PUCL says.
Pointing out that video films of testimonies of other victim families were shown, apart from a panel discussion, a musical performance and a skit, PUCL says, the FIR for sedition against Amnesty is part of the witch hunt into the finances /funding of the organisation, carried out by right wing, majoritarian groups to “stifle dissent, prevent discussion and control debate.”
Saying that there is a “visible pattern across the country, from the incidents in JNU, Hyderabad Central University, Allahabad University, or the witch hunt against Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand, Indira Jaisingh and Anand Grover of Lawyers Collective, Greenpeace and now Amnesty”, PUCL notes, in each of these cases efforts are made to disrupt meetings and thereafter to harass the organisers by slamming cases against them.
Insisting that “seldom is any action initiated against the individuals who disrupt meetings”, PUCL says, in the latest incidence involving Amnesty, the police as “informed and were present at the meeting”, yet the disruptors were “not removed by the police present in the venue.”

Comments

TRENDING

Iswarchandra Vidyasagar was a 'frustrated' reformer who turned into a conservative

By Bhaskar Sur "If someone says the Manusamhita was written by all wise Manu and the principal scripture of the land and if he asks me to throw it away, I'll say it is nothing short of atrocious audacity." -- Iswarchandra Vidyasagar

Why do I lend my support to voices protesting world class renovation of Gandhi Ashram?

By Martin Macwan* One would not expect an activist working on Dalit rights to join such a protest. Dalits carry unhealed trauma that Gandhi caused to Dr BR Ambedkar and the Dalit cause of effective political representation by using violent means of his own definition in the event of the Poona Pact. This apart, Gandhi’s ideas in general, which changed often, on caste were orthodox. I have nothing to add to the subject after the sharpest critique offered by Dr Ambedkar.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

2002 riots: Gujarat assembly 'misinformed' about dereliction of duty, says ex-DGP

By Rajiv Shah  Former Gujarat topcop RB Sreekumar, an IPS officer of the 1971 batch, has alleged that the Gujarat government gave “totally false information” on the floor of the State Assembly regarding the appeal he made to the Gujarat governor for the “initiation of departmental action against those responsible for culpable negligence in maintenance of public order and investigation of genocidal crimes” during the 2002 riots.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Odisha bauxite mining project to 'devastate' life of 2,500 Adivasi, Dalit farmers: NAPM

Counterview Desk  While the public hearing on mining in Mali hills has been cancelled due to protests by Adivasi and Dalit farmers of the Mali Parbat Surakhya Samiti, Odisha, who have been protesting against the proposed bauxite mining project, India’s top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has said it is “deeply concerned” at the decision of the Government of Odisha to push the project in a Schedule-V Adivasi-belt Koraput district against the interests of the people and environment.

Economy in tatters, labour codes 'take away' workers' safety, benefits, right to form TU

By Our Representative  The four new labour codes promulgated by the Government of India came in for sharp criticism from several labour unions and civil rights groups at one-day discussion meeting organised in Ranchi (Jharkhand) on the issue of ‘changes in labour laws. Participants in the meeting asserted that under these new codes, many of the benefits and safeties accorded to labourers have been "taken away", while the right of labourers to create trade unions has been attacked.

'Devastating impact': Rural workers suffer as Govt of India NREGA budget down by 34%

Counterview Desk  A civil rights group, the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha has sent a letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj stating that 34 per cent decrease in the fiscal budget of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) for year 2021-22 has added to woes on India’s rural population, already suffering from “devastating impact” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Celebrating birthday amidst image of 'coerced, submissive' India ruled by a strong leader

Pushkar Raj*  As the weeks long birthday festivity of the leadership was being rejoiced India wide, the Covid was still raging in several parts of India. The carnival was in line with the post-Covid decisions and actions of the leadership demonstrating a pursuit of personal power and glory instead of national interest in times of disease and death.

Politically-motivated: Global NGO network on ED 'harassment' of Harsh Mander

Counterview Desk  CIVICUS , a top global alliance of civil society organisations seeking to strengthen citizen action and civil society around the world with a claimed membership of more than 10,000, objecting to the alleged harassment of IAS bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander by the Government in India, has said that the the the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raid on his house and office highlights “an ongoing pattern of baseless and politically-motivated criminal charges brought by the authorities against activists across India”.