Monday, Nov 10, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
They condemned the action against senior editorial staff of The Hindu and Murasoli in Chennai the other day and described the moves at gagging the media as undemocratic. The district president, Manacaud Suresh, led the march.
KUWJ to take out rallies
The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) will hold rallies in all districts on Monday to protest against the Tamil Nadu Assembly's decision.
Politicians, trade union leaders, civil right activists, writers and people from different other walks of life would join the marches to be organised jointly by the KUWJ and the Kerala Newspaper Employees' Federation (KNEF). The former Chief Minister and CPI(M) politburo member, E.K. Nayanar, would address the march in the State capital.
In a statement here today, the KUWJ president, Bobby Abraham, and general secretary, S. Jayasankar, called upon students, trade union workers and members of service organisations all over the State to join the rallies to register their protest against the attempts to throttle the media. The rally in Thiruvananthapuram would begin from the KUWJ headquarters at Pulimood at 11 a.m. and conclude at the Martyrs' Column, they said.
In Palakkad, a public meeting would be held at the municipal bus stand at 11 a.m. The meeting, to be held after a march, would be addressed by political and trade union activists and writers.
The Kozhikode district unit of the KUWJ had taken out a march in the city on Saturday to protest against the Tamil Nadu Assembly decision and the subsequent police action. The march began from the Press Club and concluded at the LIC Corner. The former KUWJ president, Malappuram P. Moosa, inaugurated the public meeting that followed. The KUWJ State vice-president, K. Ramakrishnan, Press Club secretary, N. Rajesh, former State secretary, Navas Punoor, P. Damodaran, Harish Kadayaprath and T. Mohandas, spoke.
TN move deplored
Several organisations have come out against the Tamil Nadu Assembly's decision.
The Purogamana Kala Sahithya Sanghom has termed the Tamil Nadu Assembly decision violative of the Constitutional scheme and an assault on the freedom of Press. In a statement here today, the Sanghom president, Neelamperoor Madhusoodanan Nair, and the secretary, V.N. Murali, urged the Tamil Nadu Assembly to withdraw its decision against The Hindu.
Expressing grave concern over the Assembly decision, the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) said it was indicative of the rising trend of authoritarianism among "bourgeois rulers". The SUCI statement quoted the party general secretary, Nihar Mukherjee, as having called upon democratic sections to raise their voice of protest against the `autocratic' act of the Tamil Nadu Assembly. The Communist Marxist Party (CMP) has urged the judiciary to ensure that the Jayalalithaa Government in Tamil Nadu did not get away with such acts.
The Kerala Gazetted Officers' Association (KGOA) has called upon all its members to rise in protest against the `authoritarian' action of the Tamil Nadu Assembly and State Government. In another statement, the State general secretary of the General Insurance Officers' All India Association, P.P. Mohanan, said trade unions would stand by the paper in resisting such `undemocratic' and `authoritarian' actions. The Nationalist Students Congress, in yet another statement, called upon the President to dismiss the Tamil Nadu Assembly for its violation of the Constitutional principles.
Our Staff Reporter adds from Kochi: A resolution adopted at the State conference of the Youth Front (J), which concluded here today, said that the Tamil Nadu Assembly's decision was a challenge to the freedom of Press and democratic rights.
The Bharatiya Rationalist Association has expressed shock over the sentence and threat of arrest without warrant issued against the Editor and correspondents of The Hindu and Murasoli. The association would lay siege to the statue of Periyar maintained by the Tamil Nadu Government at Vaikom as a token of protest against the T.N. Assembly move, said C.I. Oommen, president of the Bharatiya Rationalist Association in a statement issued here on Sunday.
He said it was not only an onslaught on the freedom of the press, but also a great blow to the basic rights of the people.
The Kerala Advertising Agencies Association has also protested against the T.N. Speaker's action. A meeting of the association held here demanded the withdrawal of the order.
PUCL decries TN Govt.
Our Staff Reporter adds from Thrissur: The activists of the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) will take out a march in the city on Monday to protests against the attack on The Hindu by the Jayalalitha regime in Chennai.
A resolution passed at the district convention of the PUCL here today said the organisation would strongly oppose the attempts of the rulers to clamp down on the freedom of expression guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. Emphasising that it was unethical to accuse anybody of breach of privileges without defining what the privileges were, the resolution said the people as a whole should join together to end the situation where the complainant and the judge is the same person.
The march will begin from the Thrissur Corporation office at 4 p.m.
The Director of the Calicut University's School of Drama, Vayala Vasudevan Pillai, who presided over the convention said both the Legislature and Judiciary should show utmost restrain when they exercise their privilege rights.
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