Skip to main content

BJP rulers turning Tamil Nadu into fascism lab, repressive state imposing "development" projects: Civil society leaders

By Our Representative
A civil society-sponsored public meeting in Delhi's Press Club of India has alleged that Tamil Nadu has been turned into a fascist laboratory by India's BJP rulers. Seeking to highlight the "voices from the south", organized by the Delhi Solidarity Group, speakers at the meeting said that, over the past couple of months, the political and social fabric of Tamil Nadu has "slowly deteriorated under an oppressive government, a violent police force and complete disregard for human life for development”.
“In the name of development, harmful and devastating infrastructure projects are being imposed upon the people of the state. Most of them are being implemented without following right procedures, one of them being the absolute disregard for Environmental Impact Assessment”, said SP Udaykumar of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), spearheading anti-nuclear movement in Tamil Nadu.
Talking about recent protests that have enveloped the state, he said, “By shooting at Thoothukudi protestors, the government sent a clear message to all of us. The message was not to raise our voices for justice, not to speak out against oppression and oppose the state for any reason.”
Man Booker prize winning novelist Arundhati Roy said that the Tamil Nadu government is formulating and putting to practice anti-people and anti-environment policies. From the crisis in Thoothukudi to Unilever, it is washing its hands of improper disposal of mercury in Kodaikanal, the people are battling a repressive state that is singularly interested in development projects.
“This is not something new, incidents like these happen in Odisha, Chhattisgarh and other areas, and now the target is Tamil Nadu. We have to be aware and recognize the signs of fascism right now and fight against it actively. We need to stand in solidarity with our people. The media needs to cover these stories, it has to stand by the people and only then maybe we can find a solution to this,” she insisted.
She added, "While the entire country is reeling under the Central government’s relentless undemocratic imposition on its people, Tamil Nadu is battling fascism at its peak."
Feminist-activist Kavita Krishnan, speaking on behalf of CPI-ML said, “The act of shooting protestors should be seen as an attack on all of us, we are all being targeted and framed. The media in this country needs to start representing its people, they have to critique, they have to expose the state and other such fascist systems, they should be a part of the people."
Senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan said, “This country is under immense turmoil, we are being put through our paces by a government that only cares about stabilizing private parties and their control over the country’s resources”, adding, “By levying multiple cases on activists, protestors, lawyers and others the government is making sure that the people can create change are being forced to go from court to court, unable to work with the people and unable to organize for legitimate causes."
Several lawyers from Tamil Nadu also spoke on the occasion. "The state is witnessing violence like never before. The police are using any way possible to penalize lawyers, activists and any other 'anti-national' elements. From illegal arrests, custodial torture and full-fledged murders, the police are in cahoots with the state-corporate nexus", said senior advocate Senmani.
"Each day more and more traditional communities living in potentially resource rich areas are being pushed out, by the show of guns, to lay new harmful development plans", he added.
Another senior advocate Velmurugan highlighted how the social fabric of the state is being stretched to its limits, and innocent citizens, protesting for their right to live safely and to rightly govern their own lives and property are being shot at the behest of the authorities.
"The situation in the state is so bad that people’s right to dissent is being punished as well. The state has openly targeted me and others people like me who have fought vehemently against it. We are being hounded, we are not allowed to assemble in public, we are penalized for passing out information to the general public, this is highly undemocratic!”, he said.
Advocate Vanjinathan, speaking about the state’s open threats, said, “While they shot those at the Thoothukudi protests, the government made sure to convey that any political party, organization, group or association of people that is found opposing the government or protesting will face the same fate."

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.

Election Commission suffering from worst-ever "credibility crisis": Ex-bureaucrats

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, a group of ex-bureaucrats have lamented ‘weak-kneed’ responses of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Citing various violations of the model code of conduct, and pointing towards how ECI has taken little action, the letter asks the President to tell ECI to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned.”

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.