The Republic at 71: Faced With an Unbending Government, Indians Continue to Speak Out – By Lysa John Berna and Mandeep Singh Tiwana
A respected woman social activist and political leader beaten and kicked in the stomach at a police station for recording a public protest. A human rights lawyer arbitrarily detained and given electric shocks by police officers. A journalist covering public demonstrations for a prominent national newspaper taken to a police station, subjected to obscene slurs by the police while witnessing a social activist being badly beaten-up.
Police stand by as an organised mob of masked goons attack students of a premier Left-leaning university in the dead of the night. Blanket institution of highly questionable criminal cases, indiscriminate arrests, caning and use of live ammunition with lethal effect on protestors. This is not the image of their country that Indians at home and abroad want to project to the world.
Nonetheless, many across the world are watching events unfold in the country with dismay. This Republic Day, India’s political leadership should be celebrating 71 years since the adoption of the constitution. Instead, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is preoccupied with justifying flawed amendments to the Citizenship Act that exclude Muslims and have been described by the UN as ‘fundamentally discriminatory’.…
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