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

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On the ‘Urban Maoists’

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Even in these times of a growing sense of hopelessness in the country under the present regime, the arrests of five activists by Maharashtra’s Pune police have stunned many due to the blatant misuse of power and impunity that it reflects. The continuing spate of condemnation by scores of people within and outside India does not affect the regime that parrots the statement that the law will take its course. The draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) gives the police unaccountable authority to arrest, slap any number of charges, and ensure that the arrested rot in jail as the law meanders through the courts. And what of courts when the four senior judges of the highest court had to take a press conference to voice their concern to the people that all was not well with even the Supreme Court? It has been more than clear that these laws have been singularly misused against the people who took up cudgels for the oppressed and spoke out against the elitist bias of the state. But the courts that proactively grudge the misuse of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) (Prevention of Atrocities) Act would refuse to see the misuse of the UAPA, which punishes those who may otherwise be seen as the model of selfless humanists who want to realise the constitutional promise of India as the secular, socialist, sovereign, democratic republic as envisaged by our founding fathers.

The rot may be traced to the Constitution of the postcolonial state itself that adopted an entire apparatus of colonial governance, including its draconian laws under the veneer of democracy. It has been used by all governments irrespective of the party in power, thus paving the way for its motivated use by the present regime to decimate dissent. The manner in which the arrests of Sudhir Dhawale from Mumbai, lawyer Surendra Gadling, college teachers Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut from Nagpur and Rona Wilson from Delhi were carried out following raids on their and some other activists’ homes marks a new low in lawlessness under the garb of the rule of law.

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Updated On : 30th Jan, 2021

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