Anna Hazare arrest “totally unacceptable” by Nirmala Carvalho
» 08/17/2011 13:24
by Nirmala Carvalho
Fr. Cedric Prakash, SJ, director of Ahmedabad based Prashant centre for Human Rights expresses concern about the government’s reaction to protests against corruption. “Corruption is a problem of great magnitude in the country, and should be addressed at every level. ”
New Delhi (AsiaNews) – “We condemn the unnecessary arrest of Anna Hazare and his colleagues! This is totally unacceptable! “, says Cedric Prakash, SJ, director of Prashant Centre for Human Rights following the arrest of the activist author of a hunger strike against corruption, and who for years has been fighting to get wide-ranging action from the Delhi government, and approval of a law, the Jan Lol Pak. (09/04/2011 Archbishop of Delhi: Anna Hazare Anti-Corruption Commission “Victory of the People”). Anna Hazare was arrested yesterday morning a few hours before beginning his hunger strike. A crowd has gathered in front of the prison, where the lawyers of the Supreme Court announced a march and auto rickshaw drivers have called a strike in support of the activist. About 1300 supporters were arrested on charges of violating the laws for public events.
The Prime Minister succumbed to the demands of the opposition and made a statement in Parliament this morning on the arrest of Anna Hazare. “It is my painful duty to give news of yesterday’s events,” said Manmohan Singh. He pointed out that the Delhi police “had no other choice” but to arrest Hazare and that while his government “recognizes the right of citizens to carry out peaceful protests” but the rules imposed by the police must be respected. “Our government is not seeking a confrontation with any sector of society. But when some sectors of society deliberately defy the authority of the government and the prerogatives of Parliament, it is the duty of government to maintain peace and tranquility, “said the Premier.
Cedric Prakash, SJ, director of Prashant Centre for Human Rights, commented on the Premier’s statement to AsiaNews. “I am concerned about the nervous reaction of the government that caused this popular movement,” he said, expressing his anxiety about the protests outside the Tihar Jail. “Corruption is a problem of great magnitude in the country, and should be addressed at every level. We support Anna Hazare and his movement to combat corruption. However, I genuinely feel that the problem of corruption in the country can not be resolved simply by the Lol Pak law “.
Cedric Prakash is highly critical of police response. “We condemn the unnecessary arrest of Anna Hazare and his colleagues! This act is completely unacceptable! In a democracy everyone has the right to protest peacefully and without violence. The government has to defend civil liberties, particularly freedom of speech and expression. We also believe that Anna Hazare should be open to real dialogue and a less stubborn. ”
But how much does the Anna Hazare movement truly reflect civil society, and it is true that Anna has taken over the term “civil society”? Fr. Prakash responds. “There will never be a perfect representation of the parliament and civil society reflected in the country and every citizen has a duty to ensure that the candidates elected to Parliament are not corrupt. And since they are not the only the voices of civil society, it is the duty of the government to listen to all “. And he adds, referring to the growing crowd in front of the Tihar Jail: “People have the right to express tehir support for Anna Hazare, and its is becoming a growing movement of people.”