Other States

BJP diluting progressive laws, claim activists

Expression of solidarity: Activists were also concerned about the state of the judicial system. Photo: Special Arrangement

Expression of solidarity: Activists were also concerned about the state of the judicial system. Photo: Special Arrangement  

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Every institution is under attack, says Medha Patkar

Activists on Saturday expressed concerns over the alleged dilution of progressive laws and throttling of the people’s movements under the BJP government.

They called for a sustained campaign to safeguard individual liberty and preserving the multi-cultural and multi-religious fundamentals of the Indian society at the three-day biennial national convention of the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) here.

“We are living in a difficult time. Every institution is under attack. The present party is running the government by crushing the unity of the nation. If it is not checked now, society as well as the country are likely to be disintegrated,” NAPM national convener Medha Patkar said.

Teesta Setalvad, known for her fight for justice for the victims of Gujarat communal violence, said, “The government is actually not led by the BJP. The government is controlled by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. We have to understand the mindset of the RSS, which is trying to establish a Hindu Rashtra. A new danger, called National Register of Citizens, is looming large on Indian citizens.”

Aruna Roy, who played a key role in the right to information campaign, said the government was out to snatch the right to expression and freedom. “Whoever is raising voice, he or she is being sent to jail,” she said.

The convention said, “Multiple progressive laws enacted after hard-fought battles, including the RTI Act, labour laws, environmental laws, coastal regulation and land acquisition and rehabilitation laws, are being diluted, even as repressive laws, like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the triple talaq law are being enacted. The Parliamentary processes are being grossly undermined.”

Activists also said the dwindling autonomy and independence of the judicial system was a matter of concern. “The verdict in the Ayodhya and Rafale cases are the latest examples that lay bare the situation of the judiciary.”

The NAPM said Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern States had always borne the brunt of state repression.

“The Jammu and Kashmir has been ripped into two Union Territories. The government seems to be taking pride in its audacity in diluting Article 370 by ignoring 70 years of complex history. The entire region is cut off from communication for more than three months,” it said. Over 600 activists are participating in the convention.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 9:48:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bjp-diluting-progressive-laws-claim-activists/article30063483.ece

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