By George Abraham, Chairman of INOC,USA
INOC, USA an organization that promotes Democracy, Freedom and Justice for all, demands that the Government immediately drop all accusations of ‘SEDITION’ against Amnesty International for hosting a Kashmir event. INOC supports the right to freedom of expression for everyone, including Amnesty.
It is quite evident that the ABVP, the student wing of the BJP is increasingly being used as a political tool to advance ultra-nationalist agenda and it runs counter to the ethos and long-cherished traditions of a pluralistic India.
The so-called sedition laws are the vestiges of a colonial era, and it requires particular remedy without assaulting the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly that is the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy.
“If a reputed organization like Amnesty can be silenced, what would be the fate of an average citizen who may want to speak his/her mind on an issue that is critical to the well-being of the nation?” asked George Abraham, Chairman of the INOC, USA.
According to a report, in the first three months alone this year, 19 people have faced sedition charges in India. The increased use of law enforcement mechanism to silence the critics of human rights violations flies in the face of the following remark by Prime Minister Modi soon after coming to office, “Our democracy will not sustain if we can’t guarantee freedom of speech and expression”. It is important to remember that sometimes, that freedom may also express views that are unpopular, critical or even offensive. That is the price we pay for freedom!