Monday, June 6, 2011

An assault on democracy, says Shanti Bhushan

 Shanti Bhushan, co-chairperson of the Lok Pal joint drafting committee, on Sunday termed the crackdown on Baba Ramdev and his followers an assault on democracy. “Doing peaceful demonstration is a citizen's fundamental right. This strengthens and creates a vibrant democracy. Without any provocation, helpless women, children and other peaceful demonstrators were assaulted on Saturday night.” The Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan of civil society activist Aruna Roy has till now had serious differences with the Anna Hazare group on several clauses in the Jan Lok Pal Bill. It has also been uncomfortable in the extreme about the right-wing orientation of the anti-corruption movement led by Baba Ramdev. Yet, on Sunday, the MKSS joined the rest of civil society to speak for the swami's right to hold a peaceful protest. Said the MKSS in a statement: “The right to peaceful protest, irrespective of ideologies, individuals or issues, is fundamental to a functional democracy. The MKSS holds that plurality of views and their peaceful expression is a sign of a healthy vibrant democracy, and must be protected.” For its part, the People's Union for Democratic Rights said the attack was unwarranted as the “satyagraha” was entirely peaceful and had caused no law and order problems. “Independent of the nature of the politics they may espouse, individuals and organisations have a right to stage peaceful protest.”

No comments:

Post a Comment