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Threatening edifice of democracy, free speech, UAPA was Chidambaram's contribution

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat* 

One of the biggest contribution to 'strengthen' our democracy was made by P Chidambaram in the form of UAPA. Today, this law is threatening the very edifice of our democratic structure and free speech. Nobody is above the law whether Netas or patrakars or owners of media houses and investigation should be free and fair but  unfortunately agencies too use the opportunity with selective leakages. The Brahmin-Bania media then jump on Deshbhakti and is now the extended arms of the security agencies.
The issue of privacy become utmost importance in this digital age and the Supreme Court must explain and provide detailed guidelines. Arresting people without any FIR and then seizure of  mobiles, laptops and other digital devices is certainly outrageous and must be declared as illegal. The irony is that the agencies are also collecting 'books' that you read. What a joke ? The culture of reading is already finished in this country and more and more youngsters are only 'experts' from the knowledge being provided through whatsapp forwards.
Important point is that owners of any organisations do interact and collaborate with others. They follow law ot the land as without approval of RBI and other agencies nothing can come in. The issue is how can the individuals working in these organisations be held responsible for the resources and their linkages of the owners. An author or a journalist must be known from what he writes and speak. His bio data is his action through his writings and videos.  I am sure most of those who face the intimidating sarkar have far superior record in terms of following journalistic ethics than those who are abusing people and instigating chiller netas on their prime time shows.
It is time that the Supreme Court intervene and make categorical guidelines for the police and security agencies in relations to arrest and seizure of the items. Political parties must raise the issue.  Not much is expected from the manustream media but we need to understand that the real threat to our democracy and integrity of the nation is actually coming from these Darbaris who have become master in whereaboutary by legitimising the intimidation and undemocratic acts of the agencies at the best of the ruling party.
*Human rights defender



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