Expressing concern over the expulsion of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from the Parliament and his conviction in a defamation case, 1,000 teachers, artists, engineers, advocates, scientists, professors, doctors, house wives, journalists, researchers, businessmen, retired civil servants, students, writers, film makers, cultural workers and members of the civil society from across the country have appealed to people to defend Opposition to save democracy.
In a statement titled, Defend Parliamentary Democracy, 1,000 signatories raise questions about the manner in which the democracy is being run today by the people at the helm of affairs.
“It is clear that Rahul Gandhi has been targeted for his relentless criticism of the government, inside and outside the Parliament. The entire episode is not only an assault on the Opposition but also weakens the two pillars of democracy — the Judiciary and the Parliament. The action against Rahul Gandhi has to be viewed as part of defaming and criminalising the Opposition and demolishing the entire democratic structure. We appeal to the people to rise to the occasion and defend the Opposition to save Parliamentary democracy in its own interests, before it’s too late,” the statement reads.
It is signed by former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha; Federation of Catholic Associations of Archdiocese of Delhi; professor Apoorvanand; scientist and poet Gauhar Raza; social activists, Irfan Engineer and Shabnam Hashmi; journalist and activist Javed Anand; artist Mallika Sarabhai; actor Naseeruddin Shah; social activist Nikhil Dey; journalist Niranjan Takle; Ram Puniyani from the National Solidarity Forum; journalist Revati Laul; Roop Rekha Verma from Lucknow; Tushar Gandhi from Mahatma Gandhi Foundation; filmmaker Anand Patwardhan; human rights and peace activist Cedric Prakash and advocate Flavia Agnes to name a few.