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Activists Vow to Fight Attacks on Public Rights, Emerging Challenges

– Raheem Khan

Jaipur, Mar 1: On behalf of the joint platform of all parties, organizations and individuals associated with Dalit-Tribal-Minority-Women Oppression Resistance Movement Rajasthan, Jan Vichar Manch, Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, Sanyukt Jan Morcha Rajasthan organized a seminar on “Attacks on Public Rights and Emerging Challenges” here Monday.

Sunny Sebestian addressing the seminar
Farooq Afridi addressing the seminar

The seminar was presided over jointly by former Vice Chancellor of Journalism University Sunny Sebastian, and renowned journalists Farooq Afridi and Rajan Mahan.

Siddharth Varadarajan addressing the seminar

Addressing the seminar, Editor of The Wire, Siddharth Varadarajan said if there is any voice of rebellion and protest in the country, its name is Prabir Purkayastha. He was arrested on false charges even during Emergency and now he has been arrested again, that too on completely false charges. Today, according to PM Narendra Modi, criticizing the government is a crime, it is treason.

He said journalists and intellectuals are being arrested only because they are becoming the voice of farmers and laborers and they are opposing the government’s anti-people policies.

He said Prabir has nothing to do with Chinese companies. Today the judicial process has become so weak that even in such baseless cases the victim doesn’t get bail. In today’s times, with the help of technology, the form of dictatorship has also changed.

Nowadays the new method of censorship is to intimidate journalists by suing them. Suppression of farmers and laborers’ movements means strangulation of democracy. Caravan is intimidated by threats of shutting down the website just for doing one story. Today the situation is more dangerous than the declared emergency. Efforts are being made to suppress the voice of farmers on Twitter. For this, the government is misusing its power.

The space in universities is also being depleted. Efforts are being made to make mass movements like CAA difficult through bulldozer politics.

He said today you cannot do anything else except fighting against injustice. If we get scared today, there will be no option left.

Om Thanvi addressing the seminar

Speaking as Chief Guest, senior journalist Om Thanvi said today one has to pay the price of writing the truth. Even during the time of previous governments, there was repression on journalists. But in today’s times, there are even more dire situations. Because in today’s situation, Gauri Lankesh was shot for writing. “I was also called a leftist for writing the truth. What happened to journalist Siddique Kappan is also an example of this. Today the entire media has been bought by corporates, who have started working for the government.”

He said even those who used to speak earlier are not saying anything these days. Nowadays people are afraid of writing.

Aruna Roy addressing the seminar

Famous social activist Aruna Roy said, “We will have to raise our voice in every way. The country is in great need of cultural movement today. In the previous governments, we fought and brought many laws. We need to fight fearlessly against tyranny, and also against dictatorship. Against a dark time. We have to keep fighting and moving forward, keeping the dream of a beautiful world alive.”

During the program, the book “Keeping Up The Good Fight From the emergency to the present day” by News Click editor Prabir Purkayastha was released. A book exhibition was also organized on this occasion.

Dr. Sanjay Madhav addressing the seminar
Dr. Rajiv Gupta addressing the seminar
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