Sunday, December 12, 2010

Attacks on Lok Satta Party and threats against Dr. JP

Violence will only hurt people’s movements

Time for us to voice our support to reason and peace

As you are aware, yesterday (December 10th, 2010 – the opening day of the AP Legislative Assembly session) was marked by violent attacks across the State on Lok Satta Party (LSP) offices. This was following MLA Dr. Jayaparakash Narayan’ statements on the issue of withdrawing police cases against youth and student agitators in Andhra Pradesh. Grave threats were issued against him and LSP; effigies and properties were burnt and innocents’ lives were needlessly put at risk. ‘Warnings’ were issued that he along with other LSP members and supporters would be attacked if they continued to express their opinion or tour the State.

These are all based on attempts to distort Dr. JP’s actual statements. They are definitely against all democratic and legal norms; promoting such violence will only hurt people’s movements and genuine public causes.

Dr.JP’s statement was essentially that all cases against misled and innocent youth and students must be withdrawn - where there is no premeditated violence, arson, destruction of property and extortion in the name of agitations. This has to be done so as to protect and aid the future of these young Indians. It is evident that the withdrawal of cases against the students though has to be done by following due process - in a just, fair, firm and reasonable manner; and not arbitrarily.

In fact, the above message was also conveyed by the two-member government committee (comprising Shri Jana Reddy, the current Panchayat Raj Minister and Smt. Sabita Indra Reddy, the current Home Minister) constituted to look into the issue of withdrawal of agitation-related cases against youth and students.

The withdrawal of cases involves students and youth belonging to all regions. Injecting a regional angle into Dr. JP’s statement is unwarranted.

We all, as democracy-loving activists and concerned citizens of India, surely recognize that the primary duty of the Legislature and the State government is to:

  • uphold the rule-of-law and ensuring the safety and security of all citizens
  • protect the human rights of all individuals
  • protect the future of young, innocent youth and students involved in the recent events

William Gladstone (the well-known fmr. PM of Britain)’s succinctly defined the primary role of a government: ‘It is the duty of government to make it easy to do good/right and difficult to do evil/wrong.’ If this golden rule is not adhered to in our State, there would effectively no government at all.

Instigating attacks on Lok Satta offices and holding out threats against its leaders touring in the State are patently undemocratic and fascist, and deserve to be condemned by all of us democracy-loving citizens, activists and civil society organizations.

DVVS Varma
(Working President, Lok Satta Party)

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