Say registering one's protest in a peaceful manner is the democratic right of all citizens

Scholars and academicians from across the country on Wednesday criticised the arrest of peaceful protesters raising their voice against corruption. Arguing that registering one's protest in a peaceful manner was a democratic right of all citizens, they demanded that all peaceful protesters be immediately released.

“The government, rather than upholding Constitutional provisions, has violated them, and also attacked the spirit of the independence movement,” they said.

Following is the text of their statement:

“Starting August 16, 2011 morning, the police has arrested peaceful protesters trying to raise their voice against endemic corruption in the country.

“To register peaceful protest is a democratic right of all citizens of this country. Further, it is in keeping with the spirit of non-violent protest during the national movement and such forms of protest must remain a clear option for registering dissent in our peace-loving democracy.

“Thus, the government, rather than upholding constitutional provisions has violated them and also attacked the spirit of the independence movement.

“Peaceful protesters raising their voice against corruption are serving an important social and national purpose. Any government of the day ought to see the protest as supporting its own efforts at rooting out corruption but rather than encouraging it they see it as against themselves. This is a very short sighted view of what the people are protesting about.

“We, the undersigned citizens of this country, protest the violation of civil rights of the citizens and demand that the peaceful protesters be immediately released.”

The signatories are: Prof. Promod Yadava, SLS, JNU; Prof. Satish Jain, CESP, JNU; Dr. Vandana Shiva, Navadanya, Delhi; Prof. Pradipta Chaudhury, CESP, JNU; Prof. Ritu Priya Mehrotra, CSMCH, JNU; Dr. Rajendra Kundu CESP, JNU; O.P. Bagaria, Bangalore; Dr. Dwijen Rangnekar, University of Warwick, U.K.; Prof. Krishnendu Ghosh Dastidar CESP, JNU; Prof. (retd.) Kamta Prasad, IIPA; Astha Ahuja, Delhi University; Dipak Prakash CESP, JNU; Prof. Rohit Prasad, MDI, Gurgaon; Dr. Kulwant Singh, former Director, HSMI; Dr. George Mathew, Director, Institute of Social Sciences; Kalyani Menon-Sen IIHS; Prof. Pranab Kanti Basu, Visva-Bharati; Anant Trivedi NNFI, Delhi; Fahmi Panimbang, Hong Kong; Sujata Madhok, journalist, Delhi; Prof. Gita Dharampal, Frick University of Heidelberg, Germany; Dr. K.S. Subramanian, CSD; Prof. (retd.) Anjan Mukerji, JNU; Prof. (retd.) B. Vivekanandan, JNU; Prof. (retd.) R.N. Mehrotra, Delhi University; Dr. Sunita Reddy, CSMCH, JNU; Prof. Romar Correa, Mumbai University; Anil Bagai, Delhi; Sreoshi Singh, SaciWATERs, Gurgaon; Prof. emeritus Debabar Banerji, JNU; Prof. Amita Singh, CSLG, JNU; Dr. Satyaki Roy, ISID, Delhi; Rakesh Pahwa, Mumbai; Subodh Dhawan, Rohilkhand University; Dipankar Mitra, Mumbai; Prof. Krishan Kumar, SES, JNU; D.C. Mittal, Delhi; Dr. Kamini Mahadevan, editor, Chennai; Kapil Malhotra, publisher, Delhi; Prof. Achin Vanaik, Delhi University; A.B. Bharadwaj, Gandhi in Action, Delhi; Dr. Srinivas, ZHCES, JNU; Prof. V. Upadhyay, Delhi IIT; Prof. Anjila Gupta, IGNOU; Prof. M.C. Paul, JNU; Prof. C.S.R. Murthy, CIPOD, JNU; Prof. Surender Kumar, South Campus, Delhi University; Sukumar Mukhopadhyay, retired govt. officer; Krishna Ram, Shivaji College, DU; Jyotsana, SPM College, DU; Dr. Hiranmoy Roy, UPES, Dehradun; Prof. S.K. Kejariwal GAE, JNU; Pankaj Soni, JNU; Prof. Deepak Kumar, ZHCES, JNU; Prof. Saumitra Mukherjee, SES, JNU; Dr. Saumen Chattopadhyay, ZHCES, JNU; Ashok Aggrawal, lawyer, Delhi; Prof. Manimay Sengupta, South Asia University; Prof. Arun Kumar, CESP, JNU.