Thursday, August 18th, 2011
New Delhi: Popular Front chairman E. M. Abdul Rahiman stated here today that the arrest of Anna Hazare and associates prior to the sit in hunger strike is a blatant violation of democratic right of dissent and protest. Even while sharing our concerns over the increase of corruption in public life, there is scope for differences regarding the ways and means of curbing it and also inclusions and exclusions in the Lokpal Bill. Our political system has yet to evolve a mechanism by which best interest of the people can be brought into legislative process. But any attempt to prevent Sathyagraha by force is against the spirit of our freedom struggle itself. It is shameful that a non-violent and moral weapon which has survived the brutalities of British Raj is being targeted by Congress party and government. As per constitutional provisions, the power of legislation will remain with the parliament. But citizens should not be denied the right to protest even in the form of indefinite Sathyagraha.
The statement also noted that Irom Sharmila in Manipur is on indefinite fast for past many months for repealing a law that gives absolute powers to armed forces. It has been ignored not only by the government, but also the ‘civil society’ which has rallied behind Anna Hazare. Also the provision of ‘law and order’ is now being misused by different state governments to curb not only protests by icons like Anna Hazare , but even patriotic parades and public meetings by minority organisations like Popular Front as happened in southern states on independence day this year. He stated that those who view Anna Hazare incident as a case of rights violation, has to come forward against all similar violations across the country.
Public Relations Officer
Popular Front of India