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Kashmirisation of India? Ayodhya communal harmony meet: Activists stopped, detained

Counterview Desk
In a joint statement, three civil rights organizations, Rihai Manch, National Alliance of People's Movements and Lok Rajniti Manch, and Socialist Party (India), have taken strong exception to the Uttar Pradesh government taking "preventive" steps against those seeking to hold a meeting on communal harmony at Ayodhya.
In a statement, they have said that what the Central government may not be successful in Indianisation of Kashmir, but Kasmirisation of India is surely a possibility. "The government has thrust a decision on people of J&K without their approval... Tomorrow the government can interfere in the matters of other states also. Such autocratic tendency of the government needs to be opposed."

Text:

We condemn the house arrest of Advocate Mohammd Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey and other friends on August 11 and 16, 2019 on the issue of staging one hour candle light demonstration in support of people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and for preventing Professor Ram Puniyani, Sandeep Pandey, Rajeev Yadav, Hafeez Kidwai and others from reaching Ayodhya on August 17, 2019 for a two days meeting on communal harmony and for arresting the host of this meeting Mahant Yugal Kishore Shashtri and bringing him to Raunahi where Prof Puniyani and others were detained on the Lucknow-Ayodhya highway and threatening and putting pressure on participants of this meeting to return to their homes, thereby killing the programme.
Prof Puniyani was told that after abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A the situation in the country has changed and therefore the Ayodhya event, even though it had nothing to do with Kashmir issue, was being denied permission.
There was no formal order with the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Arpit, and the Additional Superintendent of Police, Shailendra Kumar Singh, the officers who had detained Prof Puniyani, banning the meeting in Ayodhya. They were carrying a general order dated 10 July 2019 signed by the district magistrate (DM) banning any programme which could potentially disturb communal amity.
Prof Puniyani was told after abrogation of Articles 370 the situation in the country has changed. Hence the Ayodhya event, though not on Kashmir, was being denied permission
Professor Pratap Bhanu Mehta has said in an “Indian Express” article that by what the Central government has done, Indianisation of Kashmir may not happen but Kasmirisation of India will take place. It appears that his words are coming true. In Jammu and Kashmir there is total clampdown on civil liberties.
There is restriction even on press. Now it appears that there is a clampdown on anybody even outside of J&K who wants to stand with the people of Kashmir. From what happened on August 17 it is now clear that it is not just Kashmir, anybody who holds a view different from that of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) or Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) even on any other matter is not free to express their views or organise any programmes. We are headed towards a situation of Emergency. If this is not challenged the government is likely to become more autocratic.
The government has thrust a decision on people of J&K without their approval and against their wish. Even if the decision may be considered correct the manner in which it has been taken is anti-democratic. Tomorrow the government can interfere in the matters of other states also. Such autocratic tendency of the government needs to be opposed.
Even though Narendra Modi has formed a government the second time with absolute majority, the BJP has got merely 37.4% votes. It cannot be taken as a licence to take any decision which affects the life of people, like ban on currency notes with consulting the people or arriving at a consensus. He cannot assume that all his decisions will be approved by all the people. In fact, majority is against him.
To sideline any other opinion in order to implement the agenda of RSS, BJP is working in a high handed manner. To stifle the voice of people who protest against its anti-democratic decisions is even more condemnable. We are committed to maintaining the Constitutional freedoms of citizens and will go to any extent to fight for them.

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