Skip to main content

Situation 'worse' than Indira's Emergency: PUCL calls for concerned citizens' campaign

Counterview Desk
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), India's premier human rights organization, in a statement issued on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Emergency, has described the situation today as worse than what it was on June 25, 1975, when the “Indian government waged a war on its own people, suspending the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.”
Coming up with an actionable programmed, the statement, signed by Ravi Kiran Jain, president, and Dr V Suresh, general secretary, PUCL, says, “We are all witnessing the criminalisation and crushing of any form of democratic questioning of the government or expression of dissent and the targetted attacks on rights defenders and others who are exposing the highly repressive and fascist nature of rule in India today.”

Text:

June 25, 2020 marks the 45th year of the infamous Emergency declaration of Indira Gandhi. It is a day remembered as the day in 1975, when the Indian government waged a war on its own people, suspending the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution and turning India into an authoritarian country.
June 25 is also the day when stalwarts of the Independence movement led by Jayaprakash Narayan and others gave a call to Indira Gandhi to resign as prime minister on grounds of constitutional propriety and democratic dharma, as the Supreme Court of India had refused to give a full stay of the Allahabad High Court order which had held her guilty of corrupt election practices.
June 25, 1975 also symbolises the intense dedication to democracy, rule of law and the Indian Constitution showed by thousands of ordinary citizens, who despite being illegally arrested, imprisoned and tortured, chose not to be cowed down by Indira Gandhi’s police state and instead defiantly fought to reclaim the Constitution and democracy.
On this day, June 25, 2020, PUCL re-dedicates itself to fight to protect, preserve and promote the Indian Constitution and its key values of secularism, respect for diversity, inclusion, social justice and equitable development. which the legendary Constitution Framers led by Dr. Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and a host of other leader, left behind for us as a democratic and constitutional legacy.
On this historic day, PUCL gives a call to the people of India to stand up for the Indian Constitution, rule of law and democracy. For we are living in a political situation marked by the politics of hate, division and violence; when we are seeing a calculated assault on the independence of constitutional institutions leading to the capitulation and abdication of constitutional responsibilities, including sadly, at times, by the judiciary.
We are all witnessing the criminalisation and crushing of any form of democratic questioning of the government or expression of dissent and the targetted attacks on rights defenders and others who are exposing the highly repressive and fascist nature of rule in India today.
In short, we are all witnesses to a state worse than the Emergency.
PUCL, as a civil liberties and human rights organisation formed in the middle of the Emergency by stalwarts like Jayaprakash Narayan, Acharya Kripalani, Krishna Kant and many others, declares its commitment to fighting to safeguard the Indian Constitution, rule of law and democracy. PUCL also invites other concerned citizens, especially the young people of India, and others, equally committed to asserting the moral authority of the Indian Constitution, to join hands to fight the situation of undeclared Emergency that has enveloped India. 
The campaign will seek to document frivolous manner of abuse of various laws by the executive and its serious repercussions on those who are falsely arrested and imprisoned
We specifically invite concerned citizens and others to work unitedly on the following immediate campaigns:
1. Initiate a citizen’s solidarity letter campaign addressed to all those arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case expressing solidarity with them for being 'prisoners of conscience’ and questioning the government and therefore being falsely prosecuted in the case and supporting the demand for their release on bail.
2. Simultaneously to launch a signature campaign using post cards and other creative modern forms like Twitter, Instagram and emails, sent to the President of India, the Chief Minister and the Governor of Maharashtra, and all MPs and MLAs of the state government demanding the immediate release on bail of all those imprisoned in the Bhima Koregaon case.
3. To launch a citizen’s campaign, along with other like-minded organisations, against the brutal suppression by the Delhi Police, under the guidance of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, of students and youth activists of Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University and other groups who have been in the forefront of demanding accountability of the Delhi police for violence unleashed against members of the minority community in Delhi in the wake of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests between December 2019 till March 2020.
The campaign will focus on exposing the false and motivated implication by the Delhi police establishment of leading rights activists like Harsh Mander, academics like Apoorvanand, leaders like Yogendra Yadav and many others who had extended support to the protestors at a time when armed hooligans supported by the ruling party and the police were targeting minority community in many parts of East Delhi.
4. To launch a campaign along with other like minded organisations, demanding the repeal of draconian laws like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Public Safety Acts (PSAs) in various states, Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), section 124A, sedition law in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other laws which are being routinely abused all across the country.
The campaign will seek to document and highlight the frivolous manner of abuse of the various laws by the executive and the serious repercussions it has on the lives of not just those who are falsely arrested and imprisoned, but also on their families and immediate community, apart from sending a 'chilling message’ to others to not dare to dissent or question the ruling government.

Comments

TRENDING

Ganga world's second most polluted river, Modi's Varanasi tops microplastics pollution

By Rajiv Shah  Will the new report by well-known elite NGO Toxics Link create a ripple in the powerful corridors of Delhi? Titled “Quantitative analysis of microplastics along River Ganga”, forwarded to Counterview, doesn’t just say that Ganga is the second most polluted river in the world, next only to Yangtze (China). It goes ahead to do a comparison of microplastics pollution in three cities shows Varanasi – the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – is more polluted compared to Kanpur and Haridwar.

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

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.

Giant conglomerates 'favoured': Whither tribal rights for jal-jungle-jameen?

Prafull Samantara By Mohammad Irshad Ansari*  The struggle for “Jal, Jungle and Jameen” has been a long-drawn battle for the tribal communities of India. This tussle was once again in the limelight with the proposed diamond mining in the Buxwaha forest of Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh). The only difference in this movement was the massive social media support it gained, which actually seems to tilt the scale for the tribal people in a long time.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example

UP arrest of 'terrorists': Diverting attention from Covid goof-up, Ram temple land scam?

By Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey* That corruption is rampant in police department is a common experience. However, there is another form of corruption which devastates lives of individuals and their families. It has now emerged as a common phenomenon that police more often than not register false cases because of which individuals have to spend number of years in jail.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

Effluent discharge into deep sea? Modi told to 'reconsider' Rs 2275 crore Gujarat project

Counterview Desk  In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, well-known Gujarat-based environmentalist, Mahesh Pandya of the Paryavaran Mitra, has protested against the manner in with the Gujarat government is continuing with its deep sea effluent disposal project despite environmental concerns.

Khorigaon demolition: People being 'brutally' evicted, cops 'restricting' food, water

By Ishita Chatterjee, Neelesh Kumar, Manju Menon, Vimal Bhai* On July 23, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation told the Supreme Court that they have cleared 74 acres out of 150 acres. Despite the affidavit of the Municipal Corporation, the court, on the complaint of various litigants, that the arrangements for living, food etc. have not been made for the people.