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Crushing Dissent by the State

August 2, 2011 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

A National Convention of Social Activists

A National Convention of Social Activists

A national convention of social activists has expressed concern over suppression of dissent by fabrication of false cases against the dissenters by the state. The country is becoming “dangerous” for people struggling for democratic values and social justice, claimed the activists, citing civil rights activist Dr Binayak Sen’s incarceration as a case in point. Nearly 500 social activists had assembled to debate on the theme “Indian state and the art of fabricating false cases” in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. The convention was organized by the Jesuit-run Indian Social Institute, People’s Union for Civil Liberties and Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan among others.

“The Indian State is using its executive machinery to suppress dissent by criminalizing innocents,” the activists said. Warning signals are sent to people to dissuade them from taking up cudgels on behalf of the poor and the marginalized. Ruth Manorama, the Right Livelihood Award Winner of 2006, and National Alliance of Women in India president told ucanew.com that she feels “blacklisted” by Karnataka government. The government run by pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (people’s party) has a tendency of framing charges against those working against communalism and uplift of the poor.

Father Ajay Kumar Singh said his office in Kandhamal in the eastern Indian state of Orissa where violence is rife against Christians, was burnt down three times in 2008 by Hindu radicals. “The court, instead of summoning the alleged culprits, sent arrest warrant against me and I lost the case,” he said. Those resisting the Pohang Iron and Steel Company, (POSCO) in Orissa are jailed, said Prafulla Samantarai. Mohamed Najeeb, from the Solidarity Youth Movement in Kerala, claimed people are branded by their dress, beard and religious beliefs and jailed without any cause. They said even the media “sides” with the state machinery. Scribes who produce investigative reports are branded “criminals”. The convention called for a nationwide campaign against the “hegemony of the government, state terrorism and involvement of corporates in the political process” to safeguard the pillars of democracy.

– ucan

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