ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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DEFAMATION BILL-High Political Status

THE prime minister's dramatic and unscheduled appearance on television to announce the temporary shelving of the 'Defamation' Bill pending 'in detail' and 'in depth' discussions between the opponents of the proposed law and the panel of union ministers named by him for the purpose is quite uncharacteristic of his haughty and supercilious style. This climb down has without doubt been forced on him by the widespread and snowballing protests against his latest and extremely provocative attack on the democratic rights of the Indian people. Indeed, although he has been fast losing his initial popular appeal and credibility for quite some time, never was Rajiv Gandhi so isolated and cornered as he is at this particular time and on this particular issue. Not only is the entire press ranged against this atrocious piece of law unceremoniously rushed through the Lok Sabha in violation of all democratic and legislative norms, not only is the entire opposition united firmly in resisting it, not only is the president of the republic known to have indicated his disapproval of this move, but also, and much more importantly, even many Congress(I) MPs who as a lot are not distinguished for either their commitment to democratic principles or their readiness to stand up and be counted have this time made their uneasiness clearly known to their 'Supremo'.

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